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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation > DOL

eMoney Experiencing ‘Tremendous’ Growth, Firm’s CEO Says

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eMoney has grown 30% in licensed revenue in the past year, and 35% in number of associates.

According to eMoney CEO Ed O’Brien, the company has just under 400 empolyees today.

“It’s tremendous growth, especially when you look at financial services in the aggregate for the past year. I think we’re sort of against the trend,” O’Brien said during a visit to ThinkAdvisor’s offices.

In the last five years, the financial services sector overall has grown 10.12% in net income and 12.28% in revenues, according to the NYU Stern School of Business.

In mid-March of this year, eMoney Advisor named O’Brien as its new CEO. Prior to that, eMoney was acquired by Fidelity in February 2015.

“It’s been a great six weeks,” OBrien told ThinkAdvisor. “The company itself I couldn’t be more proud of, and reinforces that I made a great decision to join eMoney.”

According to Drew DiMarino, senior vice president of sales at eMoney who was at the interview, one reason eMoney has experienced exponential growth is because there’s been a shift regarding technology in the industry.

“Why are we in this exponential and explosive growth phase?” DiMarino said.Because major firms that were building technology to support the advisor-client relationship realized, ‘We should really focus on our core competencies, take our technology/development team [and] focus them internally on what is core to us, and then work with a firm like eMoney.’”

eMoney offers an emX platform with three product solutions – emX Pro, emX and emX Select –  that gives an advisor access to all their services from one screen with one login. Depending on the advisor’s needs, emX offers tools that include aggregation, third-party integration, mobile web-app for clients, and interactive financial planning capabilities.

In January of this year, eMoney officially introduced its emX Select platform, which is essentially the emX platform without planning. The emX Select platform makes eMoney more scalable to be used across entire businesses.

“Previously in our 15-year history, if we went into a firm we would never really scale across the entirety of that firm,” DiMarino told ThinkAdvsior. “With the shift of the emX Select platform we have the ability now where 50-60% of the conversations we have are now to go across entire firms.”

Firms realize it is one thing to build technology, but it’s “quite another” to maintain it and upgrade it, DiMarino said.

“When we think about the fact that we brought on a major firm with 4,000 advisors earlier this year, we just brought on a pretty substantial bank with over a thousand advisors, and we’re looking at another firm with over 3,000 advisors,” DiMarino told ThinkAdvisor. “Using eMoney to scale across their entire firm is a shift for us and attributed to that emX Select platform.”

Having a scalable platform across an entire firm could also be a direct response to the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, as O’Brien suggested. “[This] starts to get them more comfortable with DOL, which is how do you have a more consistent, standard approach to how you work with the end client, provide transparency in the planning process and also the investment selection,” O’Brien said. “We had one of our largest bank clients in yesterday, [and] they’ve been our client for a couple of years. They feel like they’re ahead of DOL. They feel like DOL is almost playing catch-up because they’re so well positioned to be able to serve and react to most of what’s in that.”

While O’Brien said eMoney is “well positioned to support what’s at the heart of DOL,” the company will continue to evolve its platform.

With the deadline to comply with the DOL fiduciary rule on the horizon, this could also explain some of eMoney’s requests for a scalable platform and ultimately some of eMoney’s growth over the last year.

“The reason why we’re winning so much more business these days is because these enterprises are coming to us saying ‘Rather than let the advisor completely decide what they’re going to use [and] how they’re going to use it, we need to be able to have some control,’” O’Brien said. “’We want to give them the ability to serve their clients the right way but do it in a way that gives them the right supervisory and right controls that they can be confident that what’s being provided is the right thing for the client.’”

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