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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Envestnet buys UMA Experts Placemark Investments for $66 Million

Last week, I was contacted by my new favorite reporter at FundFire, Danielle Verbrigghe (sorry Tom Stabile) who was writing an article about the purchase of Placemark Investments by Envestnet.  She wanted my view on the benefits of the acquisition to Envestnet as well as for the managers currently on Placemark’s platform.FundFire logo

Envestnet was already the largest turnkey asset management platform (TAMP) vendor based on assets under advisory with $572 billion (as of 1Q 2014), according to the Money Management Institute (MMI).  Adding in Placemark’s $14 billion will bring them to $586 billion in total.  This further distances them from number two on the list, Pershing/Lockwood, with $391 billion.

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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!

FolioDynamix v7.1 Delivers Support for Unified Managed Households

In a previous post (6 Keys to Launching a Successful UMA Program), one of the panelists commented that no vendors currently have a complete solution for Unified Managed Households (UMH).  I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to touch base with a few vendors that offer fee-based advisory platforms to learn more about their UMH support.

For the first part of this series, I spoke with Aaron Schumm, Chief Customer Officer at FolioDynamix.  Folio recently announced a deal with Vantage Benefits Administrators, who will deploy FolioDynamix’s wealth management platform for group benefit plan modeling, rebalancing and trade order management as part of their comprehensive benefit plan offerings. Continue reading

A Sneak Peak at Envestnet’s Upgraded iPad App

This is an overview of Envestnet’s updated iPad app that was demoed at the Tools and Technology Today (T3) Conference that was held from February 11-13, 2013 in Miami, FL.

The presenters were Marion Asnes, Managing Director, Chief Marketing Officer and Blake Wood, Vice President, Product Management.

Wood explained some of the drivers behind the development of Envestnet’s mobile strategy. One driver was the explosion of online technology becoming available to the end investor. Clients now have the ability to self-aggregate their portfolios and run analytics using free websites such as Personal Capital or Mint.com. These and other self-directed tools from custodians like TD Ameritrade and Fidelity are making it easier for investors to manage their own portfolios, he said.Envestnet Advisor Desktop

Another driver was the need to provide a consistent user experience across all platforms, Wood reported. To achieve this, Envestnet re-designed their interfaces using HTML5, so that there would be exactly the same user experience no matter if you were on a desktop PC or an iPad. The only difference being that users on an iPad can swipe to change screens, he noted.

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