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After promising to make RIAs job one, new Betterment CEO puts trust in RIA brands --and knocks off XYPN-- to create an Envestnet-lite outsourcer for start-up shops and breakaways

Betterment is using four software and services vendors and discounts up to $3,100 per RIA per year after getting the idea from one of its largest customers

Author Oisin Breen June 23, 2021 at 9:31 PM
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Sarah Levy: We continue to ramp up our investment in the RIA business.

RIA Custodians



Peter Giza

Peter Giza

June 24, 2021 — 4:27 AM
Integration is passé and inter-enterprise identity management are table stakes. The "digital transformation" age is upon us. Application layer contextual collaboration is the new "integration". The current consolidators of advisor technology like to think of themselves as a platform - they're not. They build and buy tech and then glue, tape and bailing twine it together with basic integration techniques. Having to log in once doesn't mean that I am on a true platform. 99% of consolidation service providers aka all-in-one platforms cannot provide smooth transition from one process or workflow requiring multiple discrete applications in the entire process flow. They are not context sensitive and 99% of tech is not built to work this way. Enter the lowly API - the buzzword of our day. APIs are as old as software based computer operating systems. It's how software components talk to one another. In the world of ubiquitous data communications APIs can talk to components of any kind anywhere man has put a network accessible device with software in this universe. Back to earth. What is so cool about APIs is they empowered the advent of true platforms that operate independently as engines that collaborate or power other platforms OR they operate as a standalone service with their own UI/UX (user interface / user experience). Today more and more tech companies are moving away from SaaS and embracing PaaS (platform as a service). PaaS provides that core application functionality I mentioned above. A simple example: if I wanted to build a virtual TAMP or BD I could do it by subscribing to several PaaS providers, one for each piece of tech I need from planning, to risk management, to compliance, to reporting right down to trading and rebalancing. "Integrations" are passé by virtue of the interaction between one PaaS API and another and the digital portal and dashboard of the subscribing TAMP, BD, etc. A decade ago when I presented the concept of a data and application standard of communication and control to several custodians and industry experts I was laughed out of Dodge City. The common response was: "you're trying to boil the ocean" or "sharing data will result in attrition". But here we are in 2021 with APIs galore - the good, the bad and the ugly. But that data pipeline and application commands and control is here and here to stay. Startups such as INVENT.US, AdvisorPeak and many others have embraced it and are leveraging it just as I imagined. Pete Giza | Chief Product Officer | AdvisorPeak Caveat emptor. I made this comment using a smaht fone with a really stupid auto-correct algo. Reader bee ware ;}

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January 19, 2021 at 6:32 PM

Jon Stein ousts himself as Betterment CEO and taps Sarah Levy, who joins an exclusive club of top women executives, with a mission -- an IPO

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Jeff Mello is latest to join eMoney's talent exodus but CEO Ed O'Brien says it's healthy renewal at a firm that added several hundred people since Fidelity bought it

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Mentioned in this article:

Betterment, LLC
Financial Planning Software
Top Executive: Jon Stein

RightCapital LLC
Financial Planning Software
Top Executive: Shuang Chen

RIA in a Box
Compliance Expert
Top Executive: GJ King

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