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Waddell & Reed Adds eMoney to Advisor Tech Platform

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Waddell & Reed (WDR) said Thursday that it is partnering with eMoney Advisor to give its 1,800 independent financial advisors digital planning capabilities.

This news comes on the heels of Waddell & Reed’s announcement in February that it was working with Envestnet and Docupace Technologies to build a platform to help the firm’s advisors open and manage client accounts.

“It’s critical that we arm our advisors with a technology offering that enables them to meet their clients’ needs comprehensively and differentiates their offering in a competitive environment,” said Chairman & CEO Thomas W. Butch, in a statement. “Including eMoney in our technology platform supports that value proposition.”

With some $95 billion in client assets, Waddell & Reed plans to use emX Pro to give its advisors basic and advanced financial planning tools in order for them “to better identify business opportunities and deliver the type of advisor-led digital financial experience that clients expect,” according to a press release.

The partnership does not include robo-advisor services or offerings.

The deal with eMoney “rounds out our fully integrated solution and will further enhance Waddell & Reed’s financial planning culture,” explained Matthew Reeves, senior vice president of advisory products and services at Waddell & Reed, in a statement. “Through our work with eMoney, Envestnet and Docupace, we will support all components of an advisor’s practice and their ability to seamlessly transition from financial plan to investment proposal and ultimately straight through to account opening.”

Broker-dealers are scurrying to add more technology to their platforms, which in some cases entails the introduction of robo-advisor services.

In May, for instance, UBS said it began working with SigFig to roll out more financial technology to its roughly 7,000 advisors in the Americas and their clients. Plans include integrating information on assets held outside UBS onto one platform. (UBS also is making an equity investment in SigFig, and the two firms are forming an Advisor Technology Research and Innovation Lab as a forum for advisors and others.)

LPL Financial announced in April that it plans to use BlackRock’s FutureAdvisor platform as a robo-advisor for both affiliated reps and RIAs. This news follows a similar announcement made by RBC Wealth Management in February.

Waddell & Reed said earlier in the year that the chairman and CEO of its parent company, Henry Herrmann, is retiring Aug. 1; he will assume the role of nonexecutive chairman. Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer Philip J. Sanders is set to succeed him as CEO.

In other developments, Mark J. Schlafly joined Waddell & Reed in the spring as executive vice president, with primary responsibility for financial advisor recruiting, strategy, leadership development, sales growth and sales support.

Previously Schlafly was with Russell Investments, and he also has worked for LPL Financial and A.G. Edwards.

— Check out JPMorgan to Adopt Fintech Startups With In-House Incubator on ThinkAdvisor.


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