FolioDynamix Making Waves in Bank Trust Market

Fundfire featured an article yesterday about FolioDynamix adding a new client in the bank trust space.  They called me for comments on how the company has positioned themselves to increase bank trust market share and if their platform provides an opportunity for asset managers to sell more product.

The article is by Danielle Verbrigghe, who recently replaced Tom Stabile as the wealth management reporter for Fundfire.  I always enjoyed reading Tom’s work, talking to him at conferences and was glad to be able to contribute to a number of his pieces.  I wish him the best of luck on his new beat, alternative investments.

But wait, there’s more!

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Which CRM is Right for You? Envestnet|Tamarac’s Advisor CRM

Some of the most popular posts on this blog come from two series of articles: Which Portfolio Rebalancing Software is Right for You? and Which Financial Planning Software is Right For You?

Adding to this trend, I’m launching a new series called, Which CRM Software is Right for You?  In it, I will be reviewing Customer Relationship Management applications designed for financial advisors, including both stand alone packages and those that are integrated with a wealth management platform.

Since I was at the Envestnet 2014 Advisor Summit last week, I thought it would be appropriate to start this series off with a review of their aptly-named Advisor CRM® 2014 application, which is offered as part of the Tamarac Advisor Xi platform.  This new version is targeted at RIA’s and was recently released as a completely redesigned web-based application.

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Why Demographic Differences Define How Advisors Should Talk to Clients

“If I had dropped out of college when I was a freshman, I would be a billionaire now. But my mother forced me to finish my education, so now I’m only a millionaire.” — Andrew Mason, Founder and former CEO of GroupOn

This quote was provided by Marilyn Moats Kennedy, CEO of Moats Kennedy Inc., who is a career consultant based in Chicago. She used this quote as an example of how the Millennial generation has a radically different mindset from others. Dropping out of college to pursue your dream is seen as a failure by Baby Boomers, but as a valid option by Millenials and one that could even be the catalyst to make you rich.

Financial advisors must craft their messages differently, depending on the target demographic that they would like to reach, Moats Kennedy explained. Through the use of extensive surveys, she has found that each age group not only views the world through different paradigms, but have different fears, different life goals and different ways they prefer to communicate.

This article is a summary of a session from the Money Management Institute’s 2014 Annual Convention, which was held in New York City.

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8 Great Distribution Lessons for Asset Managers


The top tier asset management firms have demonstrated success in their efforts at sales and product distribution.  They also oversee a loyal advisor base and have solid partnerships with key accounts.  Understanding their best practices and incorporating them into your firm can help you on the road to emulating their success

This article is a summary of a panel session from the Money Management Institute’s 2014 Annual Convention.  The topics that were covered included common traits of top distribution teams, benefits of different distribution models, training and certification recommendations and how to maintain profit margins in an environment with rising distribution costs.

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7 Best Practices of Successful NextGen Advisors

This is a summary of a panel from the Money Management Institute’s 2014 Annual Convention.  The panel included representatives from a wide range of distribution channels, including a wirehouse, insurance broker-dealer and an online advisor.

Moderator: David Berkowitz, President, Lincoln Financial Network
Panel:   Eli Broverman, Co-Founder & COO, Betterment, LLC
James J. Detterick, Managing Director, Corporate Client Group Director, Morgan Stanley
Andrew J. Wigzell, Senior Financial Planner, Barnum Financial Group, MetLife

How important is it to establish relationships with children of Baby Boomer clients?

Over the next decade, Baby Boomers will be retiring at the rate of 10,000 per day.  Since Boomers make up a large percentage of most advisors books, if they don’t reach out to their children, eventually they won’t have clients left at all, Wigzell pointed out.  As a 41 years old advisor, Wigzell will be retiring sometime in 2037.  He said that he plans to keep adding clients who are younger than he is so that he will have clients to manage when he retires.

Wigzell is used to working with clients in the 49-65 year age bracket, so he recently added a Gen Y’er to his team to focus on reaching younger generations through the use of technology. 

In sharp contrast to the other panel members, the median age of Betterment clients is a mere 35 years old, Broverman reported. The firm’s methodology of engaging with investors through digital means is the primary reason for this, he stated.

Broverman quoted a statistic that 71% of Gen Y’ers would rather visit the dentist than go to a physical bank branch.  (He didn’t mention who came up with that unusual question or how many people were surveyed, but I would imagine they have very healthy teeth)  While it’s well-known that younger people are more inclined to use technology, another statistic he cited was that 4 out of 5 people across all demographics prefer to bank online.
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Orion Pumps Up Financial Planning with ASI Integration

I have been writing for a while about the trend of advisors moving away from stand-alone investment advice and more towards a household-level, holistic approach to managing client wealth.   Of course, the right tools must be available to them for this approach to work and they must be able to scale with their business.  (see Why Don’t Advisors Have Tools to Provide Holistic Advice?)orion_logo

Orion Advisor Services, LLC (“Orion”), a provider of wealth management solutions for the financial advisor market, recently announced a partnership with Advisor Software, Inc. (“ASI”) to integrate the two companies’ software applications.  Specifically, they are integrating the Orion Connect advisory platform with ASI’s goalgami Pro financial planning software.

Wanting to learn more about this partnership, I was able to arrange a call with the CEO of Orion, Eric Clarke.  Orion is the nation’s largest privately held portfolio accounting service bureau and has recently made a string of technology-related announcements including replacing their in-house rebalancing software with Total Rebalance ExpertContinue reading

Why Don’t Advisors Have Tools to Provide Holistic Advice?

 “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” — Henry David Thoreau

According to a recent survey by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., 91% of consumers expect that the advice they receive from a financial advisor will take into account their total financial situation.  Yet, many advisors are still myopically focused only on managing their client’s assets.  This renders them unable to serve the 70% of consumers who prefer an adviser who has the ability to look at their whole financial situation, as reporting in the same survey. Continue reading