In his welcome to the 1,400 attendees at the 2014 Summit in Chicago, Ron Fiske of Envestnet introduced the Envestnet Institute, www.envestnetinstitute.com, an online advisor education portal. Using content from partners Vanguard, Putnam Investments, Russell Investments and Brinker Capital, the new site is meant to highlight “Envestnet’s mission to act as an advocate for independent advisors,” said Zachary Karabell, head of global strategy for the company and “curator” of the site’s academic content, in a statement.
In addition to providing white papers, videos, webinars and other original content free of charge to all advisors (registration is required), the site, built in a partnership with Wheelhouse Analytics, will also provide access to online courses for advisors to prepare for gaining industry designations and provide in some cases continuing education credits. The content includes “classes” on a wide range of investing topics, tax and college planning and retirement income strategies. The intent of the site, said Fiske in a statement, is to “empower independent advisors at every stage of their careers and practices.”
In addition to the education site, Envestnet also announced during the conference that it will roll out later this year enhancements to Envestnet|Tamarac’s web-based portfolio and client management software. Designed, in the company’s words, to “make advisors' client relationships and services more personalized—empowering advisors to deliver better outcomes through a more valuable interactive client experience,” the enhancements will be part of a “24x7 storefront to attract new clients and be their first touch-point that can automate processes such as proposal generation and new account opening.” The enhancements will include an iPad app "to provide advisors with more client engagement capabilities.”
According to Envestnet President Bill Crager, the technology enhancements are meant to provide “an engaging client experience” to the “next generations of investors” and are in part a response to the rise of so-called “robo-advisors” who he said “can never offer a substitute for the human touch investors require.” The enhancements will enable advisors instead to “attract and efficiently service their clients in innovative ways."
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