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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.


Warren Pennington: Investment managers will be able to instantly distribute, receive and process index data, resulting in better benchmark tracking and significant cost savings.

Vanguard Group makes $1.15-trillion AUM bet on blockchain technology that eliminates giant daily manual process

The $4.8-trillion giant applies the 'bitcoin' decentralized ledger to CRSP-tracked AUM to match indexes and index funds in real time

December 13, 2017 — 1:09 AM UTC by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: The number one thing most people know about bitcoin: It trades at $17,600 per crypto-coin. The number two known truth is that they wish they had listened to their geek friend when he advised them to buy it at 8 cents a ...

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Lowell Putnam: It ensures everything on both sides of the transaction is 'fit for purpose,' meaning it's just down to the National Securities Clearing Corp.-DTCC to do the necessary work..

Quovo is developing an ACATS rooter process with Apex Clearing as first to sign on

The Silicon Alley startup is using its data science as a way of attacking a clog considered not susceptible to intervention

November 14, 2017 — 11:09 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: When you are a tiny startup competing in a field of giants, you have two choices. You can go low with a microniche or go high and provide a product above and beyond what the giants do because they are stymied by innovator's ...

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Joel Bruckenstein (w/Brian McLaughlin): This can become a de facto industry standard by providing something that does not exist today: true end-to-end protection, as well as a baseline of due diligence.

The T3 Enterprise Conference showed the dark side of the RIA software business in Vegas

RIAs may be reaching a point of diminishing returns in buying software unless RIA custodians can join them in the reinvention process -- with the tenuous fate of cleverDome hanging in the balance

November 7, 2017 — 1:00 AM UTC by Graham Thomas

Brooke's Note: Feel sympathy for our correspondent on the ground, Graham Thomas, as he navigated three cross-currents at T3 -- the enormous potential of technology, the even more gargantuan inertia of RIA custodians and independent brokers-dealers and the all-encompassing jargon and the enveloping hype-cloud thrown ...

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Marty Bicknell: Someone in the audience can even come in and out-bid one of us, too.

Five RIA principals with $60 billion of combined AUM form ScratchWorks as 'publicity stunt' and serious effort to fund fintech startups

With Fidelity Investments as sponsor, Barron's hiring the hall and Marty Bicknell cracking the whip, an RIA 'Shark Tank' will bow in Orlando

November 3, 2017 — 10:09 PM UTC by By Lisa Shidler

Brooke's Note: With so much money chasing so few solid ventures in the froth of this bull market, at first I wondered about whether more cash was needed. Peter Giza convinced me that it is -- especially in wealthtech as opposed to fintech. Wealthtech requires ...

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Eli George: Surprisingly, a lot of the firms $1 billion and more were coming to us.

SS&C solves its Axys problem -- for now -- by acquiring Modestspark

The owner of Advent and Black Diamond buys tiny two-person Redmond, Wash. firm that also solves Schwab's PortfolioCenter problem with digital add-on

November 2, 2017 — 11:00 PM UTC by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: No matter how many times it happens we are still somehow shocked that bigger companies can't solve big software problems. It always seems to be a handful of individuals who make breakthroughs not teams of experienced engineers with fat salaries. Case in point ...

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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 startup 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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