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.


Lowell Putnam: We've all decided to band together to principles that arent even necessarily in our own best interests.

Envestnet quietly deals rivals in on Yodlee play to placate big banks and their latent threat of 'oblivion' in response to 'screen scraping'

The Chicago-based outsourcer orchestrates a Yodlee/Morningstar/Quovo show of force in response to vulnerability to 'throttling' by mega-custodians

May 17, 2018 — 7:24 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: The tragedy of the RIA business is that practitioners don't check their independence streaks at the door when a collective effort would prove fruitful going up against D.C. regulators, Wall Street powers and Silicon Valley meddlers. RIA custodians could be more effective by far ...

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David Ireland: We started with Advent and Black Diamond integrations, then APX … now we're talking with other [SS&C] portfolio systems.

As Salentica settles into life as SS&C's fair-haired CRM, downsides of being a sheltered software child are also apparent, critics say

Black Diamond and Advent are still in reach but the firm's appeal to smaller fry in need of low pricing is more limited

May 15, 2018 — 5:26 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: Here at RIABiz we're accustomed to seeing nimble firms trump Wall Street might and all its advantages of scale. But as the RIA business grows, nimbleness increasingly plays a scale-seeking game of its own. Yet we can't claim that scale doesn't have appreciable benefits ...

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Brian McLaughlin: I wouldn't say we're directly targeting a go against a Salesforce, [But] from serving a lot of smaller advisors and firms, we are seeing a shift to larger AUM firms.

Downmarket Redtail hustles at 'crazy pace' to steal march upmarket as CRM rival Junxure wires merger and Salesforce relaunches as an off-the-rack product

The Sacramento-based CRM firm moves to 'Transaction Alley' in Atlanta from the Georgia 'burbs to attract urbane engineers

May 10, 2018 — 9:00 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: They say dogs are human's best friend because our two species co-evolved, each taking cues from the other about which senses to develop. That process is very much in evidence with CRM software and advisors. So it's hardly surprising that all players ...

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Craig Pearson: [Clients] said: If you come back, we're here.

A higher bidder ripped WealthTouch from Craig Pearson's grasp but his startup could rip the clients, free of charge, right back -- and leave Addepar gasping

After his noncompete expired, the founder and CEO of Private Wealth Systems is welcoming old UHNW managers whose language he speaks

April 25, 2018 — 6:27 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: Philosophers are loaded with reasons why vast wealth can screw up your life. Not on that list is the bit where Midas lacks the proper software keep track of all his family's lucre. But Craig Pearson, whose family, he wryly states, went from "riches ...

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Paul Gamble is selling what academics do as he did at Financial Engines -- and that worked out.

After losing Lee Kranefuss and raising $10M, 55ip gets RIAs to buy Ph.D. smarts, though a critic calls it gussied-up market timing

Guided by an ex-Financial Engines ringer, Paul Gamble, the New York startup is now portfolio modeler for $100 million

April 19, 2018 — 10:38 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: Your average RIA is about as excited about having a Ph.D. in mathematics manage client investments as they'd be about a Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering piloting their aircraft. Take DFA as a prime example of that premise: RIAs love how it ...

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Hussain Zaidi: What they need is what Morgan Stanley and Ameriprise have … whole programs in place to help advisors drive financial planning and advice.

Advizr CEO reveals just how the lift-out of four Morgan Stanley breakaway engineers leapfrogs his plans ahead

Hussain Zaidi sees greenfields opportunities at small IBDs and Fortune 500 firms where planning software alone doesn't make the grade

April 13, 2018 — 7:48 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: My father was born in New York City and he liked to speculate about the inevitable day when the blighting of real estate in places like Queens, the Bronx or Harlem would reverse course. Eventually it began happening in earnest long after he moved ...

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Devin Vigil: [If] you dangle some money in front of Abar in his 20s, it's a different story than dangling some now .… He wants redemption.

Matt Abar hopes three's a charm with FinFolio cloud launch and robo play

FinFolio finally goes 2.0 and gets $20-billion assets bump, but there's a lot of ground to make up

April 5, 2018 — 12:08 AM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: If I knew software I might seriously consider starting a performance reporting firm. Sure it's a crowded field with quality firms but they all grow like crazy. Seems like every time we write about Orion, Tamarac, Black Diamond and Addepar we find they ...

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Larry Shumbre: Riskalyze doesn't work for any advisor who knows the basics of risk.

Totum's bid to beat Riskalyze, including its own 1 to 99 risk number, gets reward -- acceptance by Black Diamond and CircleBlack

CEO Larry Shumbres says financial advice industry is in for a shock, as thousands-strong uptick in users shows Totum Risk is the real deal

March 30, 2018 — 8:39 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: I've said it before: It's amazing that no software existed in the RIA marketplace dedicated to risk until five years ago. Then it was just as surprising there were no imitators. Now we have a risk analysis market leader and a feisty ...

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Eric Clarke: Brian [Hamburger] is right. If you don't have a culture of compliance, it's going to be difficult.

After Orion user conference, CEO Eric Clarke greenlights new software layer -- spearheaded by his general counsel

RIAs told horror stories to the Omaha software firm in Phoenix about SEC compliance -- encouraged by presentation by NorthStar's Kylee Beach -- and it fell on receptive ears this time

March 27, 2018 — 11:50 PM UTC by By Lisa Shidler

Brooke's Note: On some level SEC audits are such a grim specter that RIAs and their vendors find it easier to simply use the old standby plan -- figuring it out when they get there. But under the sway of his company's attorney and some ...

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Drew Sievers: [FIS support] is not just a huge moat in the banking business, it's a veritable ocean.

Trizic CEO raises $10M, poaches ex-FolioDynamix COO and luxuriates in 'ocean' of FIS 14,000-bank insider advantage

Drew Sievers vows that firm's five-year plan will make his bank clients massive competitors to Wealthfront and Betterment

March 21, 2018 — 8:13 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: The robos-to-bank sweepstakes just keeps heating up -- each with its own giant advantages. SigFig has Randy Bullard. See: Randy Bullard pitches himself into major role at SigFig to add his Placemark knowledge to a robo hothouse. Fidelity has eMoney and its banking relationships ...

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Bob Miller's firm seeks a 'recapitalization, refinancing, sale, merger or other capital transaction.'

Seeking loan of $2 million, PCR discloses $12-million payment due in 2020 -- putting 'sale' on the table, offering memorandum shows

Private Client Resources, founded in 2000 projects it will break even next year but declines to say how it'll pay back mounting pile of loans

March 19, 2018 — 7:03 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: Here's what's clear to us: PCR is a well-funded operation shooting for the rim of a vast and underserved market and led, since 2016, by CEO Bob Miller, with a mandate to shake things up. See: With Addepar muscling in, original UHNW ...

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Lori Hardwick: We get three to four calls a week of people wanting to invest.

How Lori Hardwick's startup -- funded to the gills -- may co-opt the advisor desktop by creating an overarching open architecture

The co-founder's AI Labs is a portal-of-portals software that means to create -- and just may -- a virtual mono-custodian, mono-software platform

March 15, 2018 — 1:53 AM UTC by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: RIAs have always wondered why the oligopoly of RIA custodians couldn't join forces to enable a multi-custody platform that worked like a single custodian. It's a fair question. RIAs are selling themselves to investors as independent arbiters of a universe ...

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Bob Miller: In 2015 90% of our revenue came from reporting ... In 2018 that will be less than 50 % so it's a major shift.

What exactly to make of PCR 'doubling' assets to $250B in an eye-blink amid Addepar's inescapable presence

CEO Bob Miller pivoted to safer 'aggregation' ground where margins are slimmer but competition may be lighter

March 13, 2018 — 9:12 PM UTC by Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: The good news about stocks and bonds traded over the Nasdaq and the NYSE is that they are liquid, visible, trackable and watched like hawks by regulators. These public exchanges are like convenience stores. You get in and out of 711 easily ...

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Lori Hardwick: Can Riskalyze play well with the home office? Not just allowing them to be on the shelf but really getting that home office to work with them.

What Aaron Klein's board pick of Lori Hardwick tells about Riskalyze's next big hurdle

The Envestnet fourth partner and ex-COO at Pershing plans to make sure the fast-rising Sacremento-area robo-plus finds and makes the right enterprise deals with broker-dealers

March 6, 2018 — 10:51 PM UTC by Brooke Southall and Oisin Breen

Brooke's Note: When high tensile entrepreneurs with no extra time on their hands forge pacts under any guise, have a look at what is under the hood of the arrangement. The directorship pact between Lori Hardwick and Aaron Klein fits that category. More on Lori ...

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Eric Clarke: If we didn't do anything, our RIAs would have gone to Addepar or PCR and it would have given them a chance to cross-sell.

Orion gets serious about Addepar's threat to its biggest clients

CEO Eric Clarke cobbles together a dozen providers, plus DTCC, into a workable reporting system for alternative investments that cuts labor, improves appearance

March 5, 2018 — 5:44 PM UTC by Brooke Southall

Brooke's Note: Eventually, it had to come down to this -- the battle of the Erics: Clarke and Poirier. But what's interesting here is not that the CEOs of Orion and Addepar are becoming fierce competitors -- they're not -- but that they are on each other ...

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