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Carson Group Goes All In on New Tech, Other Apps

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Carson Group is rolling out more services and products to its 108 partner firms, including a new client-experience app and planned mobile-only banking service. The firm made the announcement during its Excell 2019 conference in Chicago, which has drawn 1,200 guests.

The new Carson CX application, for instance, relies on product design from Mineral Interactive (acquired by Carson last year) and advisor feedback. The online portal features account views, client goals and interactive tools, such as a risk-tolerance questionnaire; it also works with video conferencing and a single sign-on with Orion Advisor Services.

Carson Group also says its partner firms — who  have $9.6 billion in assets under management — will pay no fees for Orion platform technology within advisory accounts, which should save them an average of about  $22,000. It also aims to bring down the full cost of the Carson tech stack “to zero by 2020.”

In the third quarter, advisors who partner with Carson Group will be able to offer clients access to Galileo Money+, accounts that have market-based interest tied to the Effective Federal Funds Rate, a network of no-fee ATMs and no monthly service fees.

“It’s all about creating unmistakable value for our advisors, more benefits for their clients, and furthering our mission to make the complex simple for the more than 26,000 families we serve,” according to Ron Carson, founder and CEO of Carson Group.

Carson Group also says it is adding more services and support to its brokerage solution (which lets advisors drop their FINRA registration and work as Investment Advisor Representatives of its RIA), M&A and succession consulting, cash-management options and plans for a retirement-plan platform with back-office support and other services.

Its M&A team recently helped 16 firms look at possible business options, and, since January, it has signed transactions with firms that have $941 million in assets under management.

In late April,  Spectrum Management Group of Indianapolis became the fifth team with more than $500 million in assets to join Carson via its equity-swap option; under the arrangement, Bob Phillips and Leslie Thompson keep majority ownership of their firm and remain key decision-makers.

“We’ve made quite a leap today, both in terms of what we’re immediately delivering to our advisors and in what they’ll be able to offer to their clients,” said Aaron Schaben, executive vice president of Carson Group, in a statement. “It’s going to change the game and … is moving us a step closer to the future of financial advice and helping advisors articulate value that was once intangible.”

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