Envestnet Wealth CEO Bill Crager. Envestnet CEO Bill Crager.

Standout technology updates that were highlighted Thursday during the online version of the annual Envestnet Advisor Summit included the announcement of a new, artificial intelligence-driven Recommendations Engine — the “Opportunities to Engage” Interface Powered by Envestnet Analytics — and more details on the new Envestnet Advisor Services Exchange by Dynasty, or ASx.

Envestnet developed the platform-wide Recommendations Engine that it said “analyzes big data to provide advisors with the intelligence needed to optimize their client relationships and practices.”

Those “timely, data-driven recommendations are presented in a comprehensive, streamlined ‘Opportunities to Engage’ dashboard, ensuring that both advisors’ businesses and clients get the most out of the Envestnet user interface,” it said.

AI is “being used now” in the engine, and machine learning “will be used as user adoption kicks in,” Frank Coates, executive managing director of Envestnet Analytics, told ThinkAdvisor.

But is “not a ‘black box’ solution — there are human domain experts defining many of the underlying rules and models that drive the recommendations that are important to advisors,” he pointed out.

Envestnet is “building this technology internally using our data science” center of excellence, he said, adding “there have been no external parties involved at this point.”

A Data Challenge

Crises like the COVID-19  pandemic “have a way of stressing our system, and what we’ve learned through this crisis is that we just weren’t distilling down our analytics in a way that would allow you the advisor to work through all the work you had to do during this crisis,” Coates said during the On-Demand session “WTF: Where to Focus.”

In response to that challenge, “in our new release, what we’re going to do is take those things that we can find in the data and make it super easy and tell you exactly what things we think you should do right now,” he said. That will be done through email and Envestnet’s desktop and mobile apps, he noted.

Nexus of Data, Analytics and Advisor Services

ASx was announced in January by Envestnet and Dynasty Financial Partners, who said they were teaming to launch it to provide financial advisors using Envestnet technology with more business tools and outsourcing services for growing their practices. At the same time, Envestnet disclosed it was acquiring a minority stake in Dynasty.

On Thursday, Envestnet said ASx was “developed with the specific focus of helping RIAs build their businesses,” adding the new platform is now available through the Envestnet Analytics Recommendation Engine.

ASx provides “actionable insights and solutions based on data and analytics” that are “uniquely designed to help RIAs efficiently grow their businesses, so that they can focus on their clients’ wealth management needs,” according to Envestnet.

During a Summit On-Demand session that was webcast, Edward C. Swenson, president of ASx, highlighted eight services available to advisors, including Capital Strategies and M&A Strategies that support the acceleration and growth of an advisory firm’s enterprise value.

The ASx launch is something “we have been working very hard on over the course of many months,” he said, adding, it “brings together the nexus of data and analytics and advisor services.”

Envestnet Connect, Cloud Services

More details were also provided Thursday for the AI-driven Envestnet Connect that was introduced earlier this quarter and is part of a collaboration with AdvisorStream and Apprise Labs.

It is a centralized, data-driven application that Envestnet said “integrates client household data with relevant, personalized news content aligned with the client’s values and financial journey.”

When announcing it, Envestnet said it expected Envestnet Connect to launch in the second half of this year.

Also highlighted was a new complement to the core Envestnet platform for enterprises: Envestnet Cloud Services, a consultative and managed offering that the firm said “enables advisors at enterprises to seamlessly transition their data and business operations to the cloud.”

That solution also includes a data workbench providing advanced data access, data feeds, enrichment and integration capabilities designed to “strengthen engagement with — and outcomes for — clients,” Envestnet said.

Envestnet | Tamarac Updates

Envestnet | Tamarac updates included direct MoneyGuide Integration. Now, an RIA who creates a financial plan in Envestnet | MoneyGuide can directly import the plan from the MoneyGuide document vault into the client portal in Tamarac, where the end client can view and work with an advisor to make adjustments as needed, Envestnet said.

In addition to that integration, other Envestnet | Tamarac updates included:

  1. A new Assets & Liabilities page in the client portal incorporating external assets and liabilities, giving end clients a full picture of their financial net worth.
  2. The ability for advisors to import client tax documentation directly from custodial platforms into Advisor View.
  3. A new Rebalance report in PDF format that demonstrates the impact of trades using charts and other visual materials.
  4. Performance interval information can now be populated into a customized customer relationship management system, or a different database infrastructure, where advisors can perform in-depth analytics.
  5. Unreconciled trading orders can now be applied to holdings in Tamarac Trading after the order date.

Envestnet | MoneyGuide Updates

New Envestnet | MoneyGuide updates included MyBlocks Integrations and new blocks. Lifetime protection, income planning and tax planning features are now available in MoneyGuidePro and MoneyGuideElite. Within MoneyGuideElite, advisors can also now create a collaborative client presentation using the illustrative modeling functionality within each feature to help clients visualize the impact on their plans.

MyBlocks, meanwhile, now “removes the barriers and enables clients to easily start exploring their financial landscape,” Envestnet said. New blocks in development include Goals, Investment Assets, Spend vs. Borrow and Kick-Off, Envestnet said, noting they will be added to the existing 34 blocks.

“We continue to integrate MyBlocks with Envestnet offerings, including the Envestnet Proposal System, Envestnet Insurance Exchange, and the Envestnet Credit Exchange, making it easier to implement solutions right from a block as well as within MoneyGuide,” Envestnet said.

Envestnet Express Proposal Application  

 Also new is an Envestnet Express Proposal Application, which the company described as a  “simple, fully digitized workflow for advisors to locate, research, select, and invest in managed products, while also onboarding clients and digitally aligning on high-value activities — using the most common proposal use cases.”

The new application “will go into production at the end of this year, alongside the standard proposal generator, in the Envestnet platform,” and was “designed to save advisors time, fund accounts faster, and highlight the most useful information for advisors and clients throughout the proposal process across the Envestnet platform,” the company said.

The application also has “streamlined the process for providing user feedback to the Envestnet team, enabling Envestnet support professionals to view exactly what users see on their screens, and work together to achieve resolution,” it said.

— Check out Asset Managers and Strategists of the Year 2020: Shining in Exceptional Times on ThinkAdvisor.