Startups from across the U.S. were among the many companies who used the FinovateFall conference in New York on Tuesday to demonstrate financial services technology targeted at advisors, banks and individual investors.
Two standouts were BidMoni, based in Moss Point, Mississippi, and Wallit, based in Portland, Maine.
RIA BidMoni spotlighted enhancements made to its FiduciaryShield automated platform that launched last year for the retirement plan market. Since launching in summer 2018, it has been “steadily opening up the defined contribution space marketplace to fee-based advisors,” according to the company. The enhancements demonstrated at FinovateFall were designed to further enable advisors to grow their 401(k) businesses while better supporting industry requirements to monitor and document processes, it said.
The platform will “go beyond helping advisors connect with plan sponsor employers by identifying major risk factors in plans and presenting multiple solutions to remedy any problems that are discovered,” BidMoni said.
When developing FiduciaryShield, “the idea was to make it easier to shop for 401(k) plans,” BidMoni Co-CEO Stephen Daigle told ThinkAdvisor at the conference. To date, the platform has handled about $300 million in plan assets, he said, noting that the company beta tested it starting in summer 2018 and decided after testing to focus on the advisor space. About 250 advisors are currently using it, he said.
Retirement plan advisors, who must comply with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, are often burdened by inefficient processes and excessive paperwork, according to Daigle. Using FiduciaryShield, however, firms “can not only cultivate sales growth, they can simultaneously support improved advisor and firm compliance” — things he said “can and should go hand in hand.”
The BidMoni technology enhancements to FiduciaryShield include: The addition of FiduciaryShield Wellness Reports provided to advisors that highlight over 20 risk factors based on public filings that can be discussed with plan sponsors; a FiduciaryShield proposal request platform for efficiently shopping custodians, recordkeepers and third-party administrators; and FiduciaryShield 401(k) Prospector, which allows advisors to conduct customized searches of all plans and plan sponsors.