With its recent move to buy alternative investment software maker eFront for $1.3 billion, asset-manager BlackRock has taken yet another step to become one of — if not the — giant on the data side of wealth management.
The deal comes less than four months after BlackRock bought a stake of nearly 5% in wealth-platform provider Envestnet, which recently said it was buying the MoneyGuide suite of financial-planning tools for $500 million and purchasing Schwab’s PortfolioCenter reporting technology.
In addition, the $6.4 trillion asset manager — which also bought robo-advice platform FutureAdvisor several years ago — holds stakes in iCapital, a alternative-investing platform for RIAs and similar businesses, and in the micro-investing app Acorns. Plus, it is working with Microsoft on a retirement platform for mass affluent investors.
“To everyone who is afraid of Amazon entering the Wealth Management space… don’t sleep on Blackrock,” said tech blogger and executive Kyle Van Pelt on Twitter. “They are running a very similar playbook with much deeper domain expertise.”
The plan in buying eFront, BlackRock says, is to merge it with the asset manager’s Aladdin investment network and create a new investment and risk management platform. (HSBC just inked a deal to offer Aladdin’s investment management software to its wealthy clients.)