Morgan Stanley, Morningstar and T. Rowe Price are among the first major firms to announce their adoption of the new 4U online, multimedia, management and measurement platform.
The platform was created to “enhance the partnership between” investment companies and wealth management firms, according to 4U Platform, which was founded in 2015 by financial co-CEOs Denise Wypiszenski, a former Morgan Stanley Smith Barney executive, and Arin Epstein, a fintech strategist and engineer.
4U “collaborated with 50-60 companies on the investment company side, 100% of the top wealth management firms and some of the industry’s largest platform providers to receive their feedback and insight,” the firm noted. The platform was designed to meet the “everyday needs of firms of all sizes and resolves collective industry challenges by transforming multiple partner workstreams,” it added.
“For the last few years, we, among other firms, have been in discussion with the 4U Platform team to understand their 4U Connect platform, its benefits to the firm, our marketing review process and asset management partners,” Margaret Flynn-Martin, managing director and head of the Relationship Management Group at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, told ThinkAdvisor.
“Our marketing review team was part of an industry group that worked with the 4U development team and gave input on design of the platform, components that would be essential to make the platform successful … based on their day-to-day job function of reviewing and approving these third-party asset manager materials,” she said, adding: “Our main hope is that 4U will help streamline and speed up the third-party marketing review and approval process, which helps drive efficiency for our marketing review team. This is an industry solution (not just an MS solution) that will help streamline the marketing review/compliance process for both distribution firms and asset management firms.”
4U features unique platform components for advisors, investment companies, wealth management firms and platform providers. Specifically, 4U Connect serves as the collaborative portal that provides the “common app” for investment companies and wealth management firms to upload and share content for marketing review and approval through a single platform interface, while 4U Engage acts as the secure and customizable dashboard advisors can use to access approved content available at their firms, 4U said.
Advisor Group Launches Reg BI-Ready Tools
Advisor Group rolled out an eQuipt Dashboard for financial professionals, an enhancement to the firm’s eQuipt digital client onboarding and account management platform.
The latest enhancement was designed to “facilitate compliance” with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s new Regulation Best Interest “by seamlessly incorporating streamlined options for managing electronic delivery of required disclosures, key account documents and more,” Advisor Group said.
The eQuipt Dashboard will “serve as a single, integrated point of entry to the full spectrum of eQuipt’s functionality for Advisor Group financial professionals, including digital collaboration for opening new accounts; processing financial planning agreements and invoices; streamlined funding via ACATs, ACH, and Mobile Deposit; accessing and editing email addresses for clients and prospects, and more,” it said.
The new Dashboard incorporates Reg BI-ready features that it said were “designed to empower financial professionals to hit the ground running” when the rules take effect Tuesday. Those features include a digital eConsent tool that allows financial professionals to view which clients and prospects are not enrolled in eDelivery for key account documents and disclosures, then sends them invitations to enroll, the firm said. The eQuipt Dashboard also features one-click eDelivery enrollment that advisors can use during account setup or in other direct interactions with clients.
EMoney Plans New App
EMoney looked ahead to its future plans, including the launch of a new financial wellness app, while celebrating its 20th anniversary.
“As the need for multi-generational planning grows, eMoney will continue to expand its product offerings, focusing on advanced planning, aggregation” and application programming interfaces, among other areas, the firm said.
The financial wellness app the company is developing will “launch later this year to help advisors introduce financial planning topics at scale and encourage behavioral change for users,” it said.
EMoney will also “debut additional product offerings and new research at its annual summit,” Oct. 19-21, it said. Like many other annual corporate events, the eMoney Summit has shifted to an all-digital format this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.