Tamarac Is Fixing Advisors' Software Pet Peeves

Brandon Rembe, chief technology officer at Envestnet | Tamarac, outlined Tamarac's product roadmap at the Envestnet Advisor Summit on Thursday. 

The firm has added 544,000 new accounts in the last year, with 180,000 end client portals, Rembe said. 

"That level of scale forces us to do things a little bit differently," he said. 

Among the key product initiatives are improvements to digital client engagement tools. 

One of the big things the Tamarac team has been working on this year is consolidation of reporting tools so advisors don't have to use multiple reports, Rembe said. 

Tamarac is getting rid of the Outlook plugin in Microsoft Dynamics 365, which the firm added as an integration in December, and replacing it with a “lightweight” app that connects to users’ exchange server rather than their Outlook.

New Enhancements

Over the last 12 months, Tamarac has rolled out several product enhancements designed to streamline advisors’ workflows so they can complete tasks quickly.

Advisors can create templates for accounts to set up similar accounts, for example, those held at the same custodian, Rembe said. Advisors can also create a "template of templates" so that when they make a change, it applies to accounts made from different templates.

Finding client data across different accounts has been simplified, too. "We're really trying to reduce [the number of] clicks in this new workflow," Rembe said. 

Advisors can create a branded mobile app for an additional fee. They can choose to enable multi-factor authentication for clients, like Touch ID on the iPhone. 

Clients can aggregate their accounts and complete tasks set by their advisor in the app. The app features a "My Team" button that lists everyone who has contact with the client, including advisors and operations staff. 

Rembe’s announcement that advisors can now sort client documents in the vault into folders was met with applause by attendees. "That’s actually the No. 1 feature request that we get,” he said.

Documents can be edited and sorted from a panel in the vault, which tracks all changes made, when and by whom. 

What’s Next

Tamarac is rolling out a new streamlined morning sync process that should reduce the chance of end clients getting locked out of the portal, Rembe said. The portal is also integrating with Salesforce in the second quarter. In the third quarter, it's rolling out default disclosures on all reports, and the ability to mark all unmanaged accounts in one window. 

In the last quarter, new PDF reporting options will be rolled out, as well as the ability to set start and stop dates on performance reports, and to see past performance by set periods rather than year to date. 

Next year, Tamarac is rolling out a pull integration with eMoney that will bring data entered in the eMoney platform to Tamarac. 

Rembe asked attendees to share their requests for product updates and pledged to follow through on the one that got the most applause. Suggestions included:

  • Printing multiple reports for clients at once
  • Moving the "green bar" after saving information from the top of the screen to the bottom
  • A way to exclude part of an account for billing purposes by security or dollar amounts
  • Moveable rather than static popup windows; adding custodians to account previews
  • The ability to move custom fields to different reports
  • A way to see outdated views that are still in use somewhere and can't be deleted

"Every time that happens, the client calls, and then I get a call that says, ‘Brandon, can you look up the numbers so I can find out for this client’ and it takes 10 hours, and then someone changes it within that time so I have to do it again, so I think that’s going to be the winner this year,” Rembe said. 

--- Check out Envestnet Announces Its First Essential Advisor Awards on ThinkAdvisor.

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