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Technology

The RIA business has many tech vendors working hard to serve its diverse needs, and we're seeing technology become a more crucial part of setting up and running an RIA than ever before.

The Technology section includes unbiased tech reviews, tech-related news, and coverage of tech-related conferences.


Bill Capuzzi: InvestCloud is similar to Envestnet and we want to be agnostic and provide our advisors choice. It really is about providing advisors with choices they want on the front end.

InvestCloud, a start-from-scratch Envestnet emulator and Jamie Dimon darling, gets cozier with Apex to better reach RIAs

Apex RIAs can now customize portfolios via InvestCloud, which JP Morgan has a stake in, perhaps creating a counterweight to back-end monolith Envestnet

18 hours ago by By Lisa Shidler

Brooke's Note: Like "plastics" in The Graduate, I have been hearing about InvestCloud for quite a while. But we have held off writing about the company for a couple reasons. For one, what it does is hard to grasp. It's trying to do so much ...

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John Straus: Other broker-dealers are not experienced in dealing with a wealthy complex client.

Raymond James looks to extend its RIA roll-up success with FallLine deal that gets John Straus off the start-up schneid

The St. Petersburg, Fla.-based broker-dealer connected with Steward and this time it gets play at making gains in two weak areas -- serving RIAs and ultra high net worth investors

July 13, 2017 — 9:04 PM UTC by Janice Kirkel

Brooke's Note: That old Michael Jordan aphorism about how it's not about how you start but how you finish comes to mind here. Not that John Straus had a bad start to his career. He rose high at UBS. But he's been battling for ...

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Alexa von Tobel brings her New York state of mind to Milwaukee but not for free.

How Northwestern Mutual may still get ROI on its $250M LearnVest investment but maybe only by anteing up $50M more

The promised January reveal at the financial planning robo never happened but the insurer is using new mother Alexa von Tobel as its sourdough-starter to bake up a venture ecosystem

June 28, 2017 — 11:11 PM UTC by Jessica Devenyns

Brooke's Note: Jessica Devenyns wrote an article last fall about the progress of Northwestern Mutual's digestion of LearnVest. We ended up publishing it in December but we almost waited until January. The Milwaukee company dangled the carrot that by waiting a little longer we ...

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Hussain Zaidi: I wouldn't be here if it weren't for my time at Ameriprise.

Advizr gets Series A $7-million investment in bid to create software with best of eMoney, MoneyGuidePro and Mint.com rolled into one

Franklin Templeton, SEI and Fenway Summer place $7-million wager on Hussain Zaidi, a former Ameriprise broker who cites his 'unfair advantage' in starting from scratch against a software category that got going decades ago

June 22, 2017 — 12:28 PM UTC by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: Financial planning software loves a whiteboard. Why else would Northwestern Mutual and Fidelity pay $250 million for planning firms, LearnVest and eMoney, respectively? inStream raised $15 million. NaviPlan got snapped up. So Hussain Zaidi is right place, right time in seeking capital for ...

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Mark Tibergien with his uber-millennial interviewer, Min Zhang, who got an answer to the question of how long he plans to stick around.

Part of futuristic Pershing Insite 2017 is Mark Tibergien letting RIABiz know that he is intensively grooming his own successors

The Pershing Advisor Solutions CEO came aboard in 2007 but he'll leave a much bigger, younger, more feminine, techier unit -- with more of a BNY Mellon feel to it

June 19, 2017 — 11:12 PM UTC by Guest Columnist Min Zhang

Brooke's Note: Bolstering RIAs' notion of Pershing as the stylistic and practical equivalent of a sensible pair of shoes, the Jersey City, N.J. custodian has long held its national conference in Hollywood, Fla., a lesser-known beachfront city up the AIA a piece from Miami ...

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Antonio Gracias: The idea of a common language and a truly universal data platform for the financial services world is something Wall Street 10 years ago could never have imagined.

Addepar raises $140 million, unveils a very Tesla board member and seeks RIA data utopia

The 'D-round' VC raise led by Valor is a 100%-plus jump from the $65.8 million invested to date

June 8, 2017 — 1:31 PM UTC by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: I believe it is still fair to ask whether Addepar is the second coming of financial software and data or an overbuilt RIA performance reporting application. What is not in doubt is that people who are proven uber-successes in Silicon Valley see the ...

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Lowell Putnam: We've got the second-mover advantage.

Fidelity-owned VC pumps $10 million into Quovo, which staffs up and prepares for the big leagues

CEO Lowell Putnam plays on 'second-mover advantage' and gets raves from Steve Lockshin, Ron Carson and Marty Bicknell

May 30, 2017 — 6:09 PM UTC by Lisa Shider

Brooke's Note: At RIABiz, we follow the money and the people. In this case we needed a scorecard to keep track of familiar RIA faces and familiar RIA firms. It gets pretty exciting when you see a Cambridge, Mass.-based VC, owned by Fidelity, funding a ...

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Eric Poirier: It's matching with a high correlation.

Addepar deal may salve big, lingering pain point for RIAs who use alternative investments

The Mountain View, Calif. software firm bought AltX to help back-end operations catch up with front-end display

May 19, 2017 — 11:46 PM UTC by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: This was originally going to be a simple article but it expanded as I learned just how significant this deal might end up being for Addepar and RIAs. That's because it seems to make headway in solving the formerly insoluble problem ...

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Rija Javed: If you’re a Wealthfront client, you’ve probably been frustrated by the slow pace of your funds getting invested, or wondered why you still need to use forms in this day and age.

Wealthfront nixes Apex Clearing and explains it as step in ridding 'semi-manual processes and disjointed systems'

The Redwood City-based robo-advisor says in its blog that its software advance enables new destiny in "personal banking"

May 12, 2017 — 10:18 PM UTC by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: If you are going to build the world's tallest skyscraper, you'd better build the best foundation first. In its rush to market, Wealthfront may have built the building first. But bolstered now by more capital, a better understanding of the ...

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Drew Sievers: We're the digital advice solution for FIS now and that's a really big deal.

After VC personally supplants CEO, Trizic raises $3.3 million, signs online octopus and begins to shed perception that it squandered a lead

Drew Sievers invested $1 million in the robo-advisor then took the place of CEO Brad Matthews, who admits it's been for the better as he became a father at 38

April 27, 2017 — 10:39 PM UTC by By Lisa Shidler

Brooke's Note: A classic moment in managerial frustration came in 1977 when the owner of the Atlanta Braves fired his manager, donned a uniform and managed the game. Ted Turner did it because his team was reeling and his instincts told him it was the ...

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Randy Bullard: I'm sober but not jaded.

Randy Bullard pitches himself into major role at SigFig to add his Placemark knowledge to a robo hothouse

The serially successful wrap-program pioneer convinced CEO Mike Sha that he was the right guy to demystify the legacy-robo tech divide to employees -- and close deals

April 26, 2017 — 5:41 PM UTC by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: They say one key to success is a willingness to get lucky. Maybe Mike Sha just did. The young CEO of SigFig has a silver tongue that won him the accounts of Yahoo! and CNN in his startup's early days. But ...

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Kevin Knull: Despite frigid temperatures, an old sports injury, and fluid in my lungs from acute mountain sickness, we made it to the summit in 6 hours and 9 minutes.

Talent exodus at MoneyGuidePro revealed by posting from Mount Kilimanjaro includes two Knulls

The big execu-shuffle may reflect influx of power players into the business of financial planning software -- perhaps hottest of RIA technology categories

April 7, 2017 — 8:03 PM UTC by Janice Kirkel

Brooke's Note: The RIA channel combines two enormous advantages before ever getting into squishy issues like ethics and morals. Like ETFs and robo-asset management, it outgrows other channels virtually every year. But unlike other rapidly growing aspects of the advice business, it retains some of ...

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Mukesh Mehta and Charles Goldman are friends who have made a point of having dinner together a few times a year.

In poaching coup, Charles Goldman hires open-API wizard Mukesh Mehta to AssetMark from Cetera

The legendary chief information officer headed Schwab Institutional's efforts before shepherding in TD Ameritrade's legendary open API

March 15, 2017 — 8:09 PM UTC by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: In the idyllic world of P.G. Wodehouse, the unkindest cut one member of the landed gentry can inflict on another is to steal their Anatole -- in other words, their French chef. Back to boiled cabbage and corned beef for Aunt Dahlia and ...

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T3 organizer Joel Bruckenstein (l.) set the stage for a smorgasbord of announcements, acquisitions and integrations.

An e-marriage of Schwab and Fidelity, a reflective Ron Carson and good jargon-bashing made T3 take off like that helicopter outside

Addepar and FolioDynamix team up, Fidelity defends its robo-AMP and Carson tells why the Carson Wealth-LPL partnership failed -- and what blame he takes

February 21, 2017 — 6:52 PM UTC by Graham Thomas

Brooke's Note: Graham Thomas, Chicago-based advertising chief for RIABiz, gets sent to T3 with marching orders to deliver hard news devoid of any damn jargon from an event where nary a non-jargoned sentence is spoken. How he works his way out of that box in ...

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John Rourke: The name of the game is 10-person startups actually having a chance of taking down huge, established players.

VCs back Wealthbox with another $6 million as improbable play to upend CRM giants like Salesforce, Microsoft and Redtail by 'Facebooking' its look and shanghai-ing data from LinkedIn

CEO John Rourke recognizes that CRM and social media are birds of a feather and he is starting to make his startup fly with the power and simplicity of the Silicon Valley giants

February 13, 2017 — 8:22 PM UTC by Jessica Devenyns

Brooke's Note: We often leave the software parsing to the specialists like Messrs. Bruckenstein, Winterberg and Kitces. But when venture capitalists buy in we like to try to know what compelled them to pry open their wallets. The advance of Wealthbox remains improbable but $6 ...

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