Yodlee, Inc. recently introduced a new account aggregation product, Advisor Pro, that gives advisors a complete view of all of their clients’ accounts held at other financial institutions. Until now, says Jim Taschetta, chief marketing officer at the Redwood, California-based account aggregation provider, only the consumer, and not the advisor, has been afforded a comprehensive view of their financial accounts.
With Advisor Pro, Yodlee “has created an application that allows advisors to tap into that same data that an individual consumer sees,” Tachetta says. But first, the consumer must approve such access. “The consumer provides Yodlee with access to compile the data for them, and then gives the advisor permission to access that information.”
Yodlee offers the account aggregation product a few different ways. One way is via a hosted consumer facing application that financial services firms can buy into and Yodlee can deploy and host for them. Yodlee also has a data
feed from its core aggregation engine that can be integrated into existing clients’ applications. “So our client could build an application on top of this data,” Taschetta says. “That’s what Schwab has done. Schwab has built a proprietary product on top of the Yodlee core aggregation service,” which independent advisors can tap into.
Taschetta says Advisor Pro is a “win-win” for the consumer and the advisor. Consumers get the convenience of accessing all their financial accounts in one place, while advisors get the chance to increase revenue and transactions. With Advisor Pro, advisors are able “to more holistically understand their clients’ asset base, whether it’s held internally or externally, and therefore [they're in a better] position to convince clients to bring more assets under direct management,” Taschetta says.
Advisor Pro monitors all of a client’s accounts, and provides “alerts” to inform advisors of changes within accounts. For instance, Taschetta says, there’s “functionality within our product that could alert an advisor when a 401(k) product went dormant. So if contributions to a 401(k) fund stopped over time, the product sends an alert to an advisor that the account went dormant. That might trigger the advisor [to call the client] and say, ‘let me put that money to work for you.’” An alert could also tell the advisor when a CD hit its maturity date, he says.
Advisor Pro can also help advisors generate transactions. For instance, if an advisor knows his firm is getting ready to publish research on IBM, the advisor can perform “searches across a database” and list all clients with IBM holdings, Teschetta says. Then the advisor can call those clients and say, “We just published some research on IBM, and you might want to go out and buy more IBM” stock. The product allows advisor to be more proactive, he says, and gives clients the impression that the advisor “is paying more attention” to their account.
Taschetta says there are now more than 3 million users of aggregation technology, a pretty good figure considering aggregation technology is only two and half years old. “Aggregation adoption is moving at twice the rate that online bill pay adoption moved,” he says. The awareness of aggregation technology, however, is still “fairly low,” he says, because it “works behind the scenes.”
Washington Bureau Chief Melanie Waddell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org