This is Jud Bergman’s second appearance on the IA 25. Read his extended profile from the 2012 IA 25. Click here to view the complete list and Special Report schedule for extended profiles for each of the 2013 IA 25 honorees.
Over the now 11 years that Investment Advisor has named the 25 most influential people in and around the advisory universe, we’ve acknowledged the regulators and money managers and advisors themselves who we deem influential, but also individuals like Jud Berman who lead organizations that are ahead of the curve in serving the evolving needs of advisors. Envestnet began as a turnkey asset management provider, where it remains a leader punctuated by its announced acquisition in mid-April of Prudential’s Wealth Management Solutions, with its $12 billion in assets. Even that acquisition, which gives Envestnet a wider presence in the bank investment channel, signals more of an evolutionary development than a turnabout for the company. When that acquisition was announced, Bergman noted that “most of our new advisor and enterprise relationships are some kind of a conversion from a legacy” business model.
Even before making its acquisitions over the last few years of FundQuest, Prima Capital and Tamarac, “that kind of conversion became a core competency for us; it plays to our strength” as a company that, as we wrote in a June 2011 cover story here, Envestnet “stands at the crossroads” of the major issues facing advisors then and now: “performing increased due diligence on investment products; adapting to a fluid regulatory environment; improving efficiency in the back office and directly with clients; finding alpha-producing investments at a time of slow economic growth and continued volatility in the markets; succession planning; deciding which business model—broker-dealer or RIA—to adopt; and providing holistic financial advice to clients on all their investments, not just those over which the advisor has control.”
In his own words, Bergman provided examples of how Envestnet has integrated its acquisitions: “We’ve placed Prima’s institutional-quality research into our PMC offerings: embedded into our platform, but still available on a license basis.” Tamarac, another acquisition, “is fully integrated at the portfolio accounting level” on Envestnet’s platform; so beyond Tamarac’s RIAs, who relied on Schwab Portfolio Center as their portfolio accounting software, “the Envestnet platform allows us to offer Tamarac to a whole new segment of advisors,” providing a “terrific solution for the high-end portfolio manager” type of advisor.