WisdomTree and Vanare announced Friday that the asset manager and ETF sponsor has invested $20 million in Series A financing for a 36% equity stake in the digital wealth management platform.
Vanare is also changing its name to AdvisorEngine to “underscore the company's vision to empower advisors using integrated technology across the full client spectrum, ranging from high-net-worth clients to lower balance relationships," Rich Cancro, AdvisorEngine founder and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
Cancro elaborated on that goal in an interview with ThinkAdvisor.
“We are the only wealth management technology platform with a digital advisor integrated in it. We were built for financial institutions and advisors from the very beginning, which is why we changed our brand to AdvisorEngine,” he said on Tuesday.
“If you look at the main competition on the B-to-B side that may do white label [robo-advisor offerings], pretty much all of the competition was a B-to-C that pivoted to a B-to-B,” he said. “For us, we’ve always been about empowering the financial advisor to help them grow and improve their client experience and ultimately work on better outcomes for them and their clients.”
Vanare, now AdvisorEngine, will offer WisdomTree’s asset allocation models on its platform, and WisdomTree will offer AdvisorEngine’s platform to its distribution network. AdvisorEngine will continue to offer its client prospecting and onboarding tools, as well as analytics, trading, performance reporting and billing.
"The end-investor experience is being revolutionized by new technologies and new investment products like ETFs,” WisdomTree’s CEO and President Jonathan Steinberg said in a statement. “Forward-thinking financial institutions have an opportunity to thrive in this changing environment.”
He noted that “AdvisorEngine's expertise in B2B digital advice makes it a natural choice” for the financing.
The $20 million investment will be used to fill strategic staff positions and expand the wealth management platform, according to the statement.
“The general use of the funds,” Cancro said, “is going to be toward product development.”
Client support and building up the sales and marketing team are also goals for the capital infusion, Cancro said.
AdvisorEngine announced in late October, prior to the rebranding, that it was integrating with FinMason to provide risk analysis on its platform. In September, the firm announced it had integrated with TD Ameritrade’s iRebal API to its Spark and NestEgg offerings.
The equity investment from WisdomTree is “going to fast forward doing more things with FinMason,” Cancro said, with “some really interesting product enhancements” that he wasn’t able to speak publicly about yet. Those are expected in the first quarter of 2017.
“TD and iRebal are very good partners of ours, and this additional capital is obviously going to help us grow even faster,” he added.
--- Read How One RIA Uses Technology to Nurture Client Relationships on ThinkAdvisor’s TechCenter.