IAS Responds: Which Portfolio Rebalancing Software is Right for You?

As part of my series of articles on portfolio rebalancing software, I met with some folks from Interactive Advisory Software (IAS), who were kind enough to give me a demo of not only their rebalancing tools, but their entire wealth management platform, called Solution 360.

IAS is based in Egg Harbor Township, NJ and was founded in 2000.  They have 55 employees to support around 200 firms using their platform, of which 90% are RIA’s.  They are a fully-owned subsidiary of Hanlon Investment Management, which purchased IAS from their VC backers in 2012.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Nathan Burke, CEO of IAS and Matt Wolf, Regional Sales Director who provided a high level overview of their product.  They handed me off to Wade Waller, Director of Product Management and Ryan Jotkoff, the Product Manager for Rebalancing to answer my more in-depth questions.

Tax Management Sets IAS Apart from the Competition

Tax management is probably the area that most sets them apart from their competitors, according to Wolf.  Since their platform includes financial planning and their rebalancer is tightly integrated with the rest of their system, it has immediate access to a lot of additional client information.  This helps the rebalancer make better decisions as well as generate detailed tax estimates with multi-year projections and taking into account gross income, itemized deductions and client expenses, he explained.Tax Squeeze Finger

While I usually advise clients against ‘re-inventing the wheel’, in this case, the time and effort it took IAS to develop their own financial planning functionality has paid off.  Whereas other firms force clients to import data manually or use programming interfaces that are sometimes unreliable, IAS has immediate access to all the data.

And they use this data to their full advantage across the system in ways I haven’t seen many other vendors offer.  The system has an automatic exercise feature that converts employee stock options into an underlying equity position going forwards, captures dividends and can even project the client’s future tax rate, Wolf added.

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Unified Managed Households: The Holy Grail of Wealth Management?

This is a summary from a session from the MMI Tech & Ops 2012 Conference held in Jersey City, NJ last December. The subject of this panel was the Unified Managed Household (UMH) and the challenges and issues around planning, implementation and support.

Moderator:

  • Gary Jones, Vice President for Industry Operations, MMI.

Panelists:

How do you define what UMH is?

UMH is a value proposition for advisors, Morris stated. It is an opportunity for advisors to demonstrate their value and make better decisions.  Fortigent is a “Super-RIA,” he commented, their average client size is between $10-12 million and they use a lot of alternative investments.

Some advisors are worried that technology will make them obsolete. UMH is really more of an aggregation and articulation tool rather than the be all and end all solution, he observed.

UMH is nothing new in the industry, Bracken claimed. It’s what good advisors have been doing for years. They’ve been providing a “manual” UMH using various technology and legal pads.

Investors have many different accounts that can’t be combined, such as Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs and Traditional IRAs, Bracken noted. But advisors still need a way to review and talk about all of their accounts with their clients. Whether UMH or another technology solution is used, it must be part of an efficient and replicable process that can support Ultra-High Net Worth (UHNW) as well as emerging High Net Worth and Mass Affluent clients. Fidelity is looking to their technology partners to help make their existing UMH more efficient, he said.

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