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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.


Aaron Schumm: This is the most fun the business has ever been.

As Aaron Schumm's 401(k) startup gets $8 million the FolioDynamix founder loves Vestwell's odd juxtaposition to Fidelity

Vestwell attracts second big FMR seed capital tranche by co-opting advisors to go where the Boston 401(k) king is most challenged -- very small plan sponsors

October 13, 2017 — 5:12 PM UTC by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: Fidelity Investments is making noises about buying a software company to keep eMoney in the lonely corporate shell in which it is housed. The Boston giant could do worse than to make a deal for Vestwell because the price will be right. F-Prime ...

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Brian McLaughlin: No one is offering advisors best practices for texting clients. It doesn't exist.

Caveats galore, Redtail attempts CRM revolution based on texting starting with 27,000 firms who use its software

Compliance experts and advisors throw down the gauntlet on CRM chat challenges but CEO/CTO Brian McLaughlin is unfazed

October 11, 2017 — 7:30 PM UTC by By Lisa Shidler

Brooke's Note: I am unqualified to edit this article in one important sense. I have never in my life sent a text. I am neither proud nor embarrassed about that fact. Never having texted is directly tied to my never owning a smartphone. (I'll ...

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Mike Durbin draws the brightest lights at his old firm.

eMoney -- with an immense Fidelity presence -- pulls out stops to debut RIA robo AMP, which shared buzz bandwidth with Envestnet M&A

The Radnor, Pa.-based software firm drew 800 attendees with advisors knowing they'd get sun, fun and Mike Durbin thrown in for good measure

October 4, 2017 — 9:10 PM UTC by Guest Columnist Jason Lahita

Brooke's Note: The Fall of 2017 is crackling without much of a spark from the world of robo-advice. That's not because automation or its players are going away. Just the opposite. Yesterday, we showed how far Schwab has come. See: Exploding to near ...

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Greg Friedman (r., with Doug Fritz):This used to be a much more collaborative industry.

Greg Friedman rallies RIAs at Junxure conference -- then news of Envestnet-FolioDynamix deal turns up the heat

The $2-trillion platform consolidation stunned open architecture-minded CRM-users who suspect bundling's advantages may quickly turn to diminishing returns

October 2, 2017 — 9:00 PM UTC by Guest Columnist Timothy D. Welsh

Brooke's Note: Tim Welsh's conference reviews become more fun to edit with each passing week because they are so dang loaded with hard and breaking news. He may be an industry consultant but the UC Berkeley grad is also an accomplished bloodhound when it comes to nosing ...

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Eric Poirier: We are still in the very early days in terms of penetration in the RIA industry.

Power Player: Addepar's Eric Poirier drags RIAs to seek alpha in a beta world even as the advisors demand -- and get -- eMoney and FolioDynamix connections

The Silicon Valley-based CEO seeks to change how RIAs invest by what they can track with a new API and a fresh $140 million of VC money to see it out

September 26, 2017 — 7:31 PM UTC by Brooke Southall and Mia Diamond

Brooke's Note: Wall Street is of little use to the RIA business. The jury on Silicon Valley and its highly white boarding ways is still out. Wealth front has a long way to go, it seems, in becoming the Amazon of retail advice. Este still ...

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Bill Stone: We are investing $150 million cash in R&D every year.

SS&C overlords culturally shock Black Diamond RIAs in Chicago with heaviness and wow them with well-funded competency

'Intense' SS&C CEO Bill Stone let 1,000-strong attendees know they are part of $500-million cash cow not afraid to make strategic purchases

September 15, 2017 — 7:10 PM UTC by Guest Columnist Tim Welsh

Brooke's Note: As I debriefed Tim Welsh ahead of editing his column, he explained the components of his culture shock expressed in this piece. For one, he'd just come from Orion's super-down-home conference, "FUSE", in a Utah suburb. Second, he'd missed ...

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Tim Welsh braved the Utah wilds to write this report and found DFA and BlackRock had joined the hacker scene.

Eric Clarke keeps FUSE lit by rebalancing deep-suburbia hackathon with BlackRock and DFA real economiks

The event's subversive air drew the local police, yet again, to the door of the Park City, Utah weekend hackathon

September 11, 2017 — 6:43 PM UTC by Guest Columnist Tim Welsh

Brooke's Note: I have never coded. Not much, at least. In our old admin system I did create little squibs of code that showed up on your cyber doorstep as something more visually appealing like a photo or italicized word. It gave me a taste of ...

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Dave Welling: We will choose whatever technology best helps us deliver an outstanding experience to our clients.

Black Diamond loses serial white knight Dave Welling to a $10-billion RIA that uses Orion

The RIA performance reporting software giant in Jacksonville grew like crazy under its leader though two mergers but David Barton made an irresistible offer

August 3, 2017 — 4:43 PM UTC by By Lisa Shidler


Brooke's Note: We took our time with this story. There are so many moving parts to the Mercer poach and Black Diamond's loss resulting from Dave Welling's move. We wanted to do justice to the both the jarring changes and big successes ...

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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

July 19, 2017 — 6:50 PM UTC 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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