Ladenburg Thalmann — which owns Securities America, Triad Advisors, Securities Service Network, Investacorp and KMS Financial — says it has made a strategic investment in Track Technologies, a provider of tax automation for independent contractors.
According to the firm, this move is tied to Ladenburg’s recently launched Innovation Lab program and its first Innovation Symposium, which took place in late May.
“This investment is part of our innovation-focused process for identifying macro themes, and then adapting technology-enabled tools from the startup community that our financial advisors can deploy to get ahead of the curve,” said Ladenburg COO Adam Malamed, in a statement.
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Miami-based Ladenburg’s broker-dealers include some 4,300 affiliated advisors with about $166 billion in client assets.
“By enabling our advisors to deliver digital automated tax solutions that can potentially plug into financial and retirement planning efforts for self-employed clients, we are positioning our advisors to serve a large market,” Malamed added.
Track Technologies calculates, withholds and submits quarterly estimated payments on self-employment taxes for workers using IRS Form 1099. Users can connect the tax software to their bank or credit card accounts, and the software gives advisors more ways to help clients “leverage a turnkey solution for payroll services,” set up qualified retirement plans and reduce “their administrative burdens,” according to Ladenburg.
“Following our Innovation Symposium, we reviewed several of the most promising concepts to turn ideas into action, and our investment in Track is the next logical step in that process. We see great potential for adapting and leveraging this type of service for advisors across each of our IAB subsidiaries,” said Dan Sachar, head of the Ladenburg Innovation Lab, in a statement.
Track Technologies CEO Trent Bigelow says Ladenburg’s investment should help the tech firm “accelerate its development and reach new audiences; financial advisors serve many clients who are the ideal users of Track. I am excited to move forward with Ladenburg in this next phase of our business.”
Earlier in July, Ladenburg introduced its Retirement Plan Consulting Platform for advisors, which includes ongoing consulting support, software tools, training and other resources.
Today, “it is increasingly important for plan advisors and the firms that support them to significantly expand the value they provide to retirement plan sponsors, and serve a role in boosting the retirement readiness of workers across the country,” said Ladenburg President and CEO Richard Lampen, in a statement.
“Our new Retirement Plan Consulting Platform meets these goals, while representing another step forward in mobilizing Ladenburg’s financial capital, intellectual capital, technology and other resources to provide our IAB firms and their advisors with the industry-leading tools and expertise they need to succeed,” Lampen explained.
The platform encompasses practice management and coaching features so advisors have more ways to prepare for meetings with plan sponsors, review investment options and recommend needed changes, create model portfolios for plan participants, assist participants with enrollment and explain plan fees and expenses, according to the firm.
About half of advisors working with the Ladenburg-owned BDs, or about 1,800 financial professionals, serve retirement plan clients.
Ladenburg’s tech partner for this platform is the Retirement Plan Advisory Group (RPAG), which works with 35,000 plan sponsors, about $350 billion in assets, and some 4 million plan participants.