The M&A activity in the financial technology world continued on Thursday with asset manager Legg Mason (LM) announcing plans to buy an 82% interest in robo-advisor Financial Guard for an undisclosed amount.
The news came about a month after Morningstar said it bought InvestSoft Technology, which offers fixed income analytics. Also recently, UBS, Eaton Vance, New York Life and several other firms invested $40 million in SigFig, a wealth management tech firm that offers robo-advisory services and builds digital tools for mobile and other devices.
“We believe this investment in innovative technology and people is a valuable addition to Legg Mason’s distribution efforts over the long term, said Terence Johnson, global head of distribution for Legg Mason, in a statement.
“As an online technology platform that evaluates both active and passive funds, Financial Guard creates a complete digital solution for advisors and their clients. Together, we are well-positioned to help partner firms and their advisors by providing a simple and scalable platform coupled with compelling investment offerings,” Johnson explained.
Financial Guard is set to become part of Legg Mason’s alternative distribution strategies business.
According to the two firms, Financial Guard’s technology gives advisors the ability to “create a comprehensive picture of clients’ financial positions and recommend potential solutions to meet their clients’ investment objectives,” according to a press release, including portfolio analysis and recommendations for both passive and active funds.
“By making the technology available to advisors and their clients, Financial Guard and Legg Mason intend to help financial institutions grow their advisory business and be well-positioned to conform to the new Department of Labor fiduciary standard, set to be implemented in April 2017,” Legg Mason stated in the release.