Right after we finished shooting the Fintech Five, we confirmed that the deal had been signed, so I guess this month you’re getting a Fintech Five PLUS …
In a blockbuster deal, Orion has acquired Redtail. The wealth management platform and TAMP provider focused on the RIA market has teamed up with one of the industry’s leading customer relationship management vendors in a deal that will massively expand the number of advisors Orion serves.
Huge congratulations are in order for Redtail and Orion on today’s announcement. I’m especially excited for Brian—to see his 19 years of hard work rewarded with this deal makes me so happy for my friend.
From the Riskalyze perspective, I believe this deal will only strengthen the partnership between our firms. Redtail and Orion are two of our strongest and deepest integrations, and Eric, Brian and I have committed to continue working together to serve our thousands of joint clients.
That said, here is your Fintech Five for April 2022, a focused take on what we think are the recent top five stories in wealth management technology.
1. Goldman Sachs to take a targeted approach
Following a great scoop by WealthManagement.com’s Diana Britton, Goldman Sachs shared new plans around its planned custodial offering—specifically, that it won’t be trying to serve every kind of advisor.
Since announcing its acquisition of Folio Financial’s clearing and custody technology in 2020, we’ve waited to hear more about the details of its custodial offering. After some twists and turns in the road, Diana’s scoop is giving us all a better understanding of what advisors can expect.
The Goldman focus is planned as a key segment of advisors serving high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients, who particularly leverage structured notes and other products like that. Perhaps it’s no surprise, as the Simon Markets structured notes platform was a spin-off from Goldman and features a number of their products.
There’s power in focusing on who your clients are and not trying to be all things to all people. It’s going to be really interesting to watch Goldman try to emerge as the key competitor to our friends at Charles Schwab, Fidelity and Pershing.
2. Change is afoot at Envestnet
Our next story is about all the news coming out of Envestnet these days. Bill Crager is on a mission to remake the firm for the next decade. First, they’ve made official what has been unofficially true for some time—headquarters is in the Philadelphia suburb of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, and is no longer Chicago.
Second, private equity has been champing at the bit for the opportunity to take Envestnet private again. It’s been 11 years since it went public, and every market-changing company reaches the point where some transformation needs to happen. It can be really tough to pull that off under the hot lights of the public markets.
Envestnet has a huge number of assets—look no further than MoneyGuide signing the monstrous deal to become the official financial planning software for Edward Jones—and if the reporting is true, this may be an incredible time for Bill Crager to take Envestnet private, make big changes to its business model and reenter the public markets in a few more years.
It could be our industry’s version of the Dell story, where a founder took his public company private, made big changes, and reemerged as a vastly more successful and powerful firm than it ever was before.
However this shapes up, I’ve got my money on the co-founder DNA that Bill Crager brings to the table.
3. RightCapital providing Snapshot
The biggest knock on financial planning for many years has been complexity—after advisors spend all the time collecting and entering financial planning data for their clients, those complex financial situations take a lot of time and effort to review.
RightCapital is taking a stab at making that easier with its new one-page financial plan called a Financial Plan Snapshot.
Plans can only go so far as a client’s ability to see and understand what you’re delivering for them at a high level. It’ll be interesting to see how advisors, and their clients, respond to this new attempt at simplifying the complex.
4. Schwab debuts personalized indexing
Charles Schwab has announced its new Personalized Indexing service is now available to both retail investors and RIAs.
Direct indexing, the ability to replicate an index of stocks or funds in a brokerage account, is certainly the big hot topic in fintech, but custodian support is a key aspect since it requires either support for fractional shares, or very large client accounts.
It’s going to be fascinating to watch the custodians, wealthtech firms and TAMP services all compete in different ways to provide this innovative new approach to customization and personalization for investors. Schwab is launching its service with only a $100,000 account minimum, and three index-based strategies, with the promise of more to come.
And we’ll wrap up today’s Fintech Five with a big, big hire from our friends at Carson Wealth.
5. Carson hires a new (and well-known) chief strategy officer
Burt White, one of the profession’s most respected leaders, is joining Carson as managing partner and chief strategy officer. This comes after serving 14 years as managing director and chief investment officer at LPL Financial.
We’ve seen first-hand the impact Burt had while he was at LPL. From running Star Wars–themed keynotes in his epic main stage presentations, to leading an unprecedented period of growth for the industry’s largest independent broker/dealer, his leadership has done more for advisors, and the industry, than anyone can describe.
For Carson, this is a big win and a major addition to their team. It’s going to be really exciting to see how Ron continues to grow his firm’s impact on the industry in this next chapter.