Apex Clearing announced on Thursday that it has entered into a partnership with FolioDynamix to create customer-facing technology tools.

FolioDynamix will provide turnkey investment technology, while Apex will provide automated and expedited account opening and verification.

(Related: Apex, InvestCloud Partner on Robo, Custody Integration)

“Apex Clearing has been at the forefront of financial innovation for years, with our technology able to eliminate the paper-laden onboarding process and reduce the time it takes to open, verify and fund an account from days to literally minutes,” Bill Capuzzi, CEO of Apex Clearing, said in a statement. “Our exciting partnership with FolioDynamix allows us to help usher even more investment advisors into the digital age and provide their clients with the kind of efficient, responsive experience they have come to expect and demand in all aspects of their lives.”

FolioDynamix President and COO Steve Dunlap noted that account opening and client onboarding is an industrywide pain point. “Apex has committed its resources to digitizing the entire custodial experience, placing itself on the leading edge of transforming this archaic, cumbersome and paper-driven process,” he said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to partner with this team to scale that process and deliver the delightful user experience that our customers are looking for.”

Dunlap said that an increased focus on automation is “a necessary industry transformation where we consider the entire investment process and re-imagine it in a digital construct, so we can determine how to facilitate investor-advisor interaction and development of trust and rapport.”

He suggested that giving investors new ways to interact with an advisor helps prevent disintermediation of financial professionals, especially with the spotlight the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule shined on the industry.

“Rather than debate the pros and cons of regulation, we believe the more compelling and productive focus for our industry and the people we serve is simply how to best serve the investor, or end customer, period,” Dunlap said. “We should be looking at ways to change the current narrative about financial advisors and, frankly, what threatens the advancement of financial services. It is incumbent upon us all to meet the quickly evolving needs and expectations of our customers.”

— Read DOL Files to Delay Fiduciary Rule’s January Compliance Date on ThinkAdvisor.