The job switch by Dani Fava — formerly TD Ameritrade Institutional’s innovation chief — to lead strategic development at Envestnet is getting a thumbs-up from industry watchers and technology experts.
“It’s a great hire [for Envestnet] and a great fit,” said Joel Bruckenstein, publisher of the T3 Technology Hub and producer of the annual Technology Tools for Today (T3) events.
“She’s a great speaker and forward-thinking person who spends lots of effort on [understanding] new technologies and … how they are applicable to our business,” Bruckenstein explained in an interview.
Was the fintech expert surprised at the development? “Not at all,” he said. “In the current circumstances of [TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab’s] merger, it makes sense that Dani would be looking for a new home. She needs to be with a big firm that has [lots of] technology and that gives her big challenges to work on.”
Schwab has about 21,800 employees, TD Ameritrade close to 10,000, and Envestnet some 4,100.
Envestnet’s turnkey asset management platform, technology and other tools are used by about 103,000 advisors and 4,900 companies, including RIAs, banks, wealth managers and brokerage firms.
The firm is “very aligned with financial wellness and a technology-first approach, which is still being defined as we speak,” said Tim Welsh, head of Nexus Strategy, a consultancy.
“Someone like Dani can bring experience and insights to the new role, which is similar to the one she had before,” Welsh explained in an interview.
Envestnet leaders and staff seem to know Fava well, and she likely has gotten to know them over the years while working for the fintech firm Fiserv (2009-2012) and afterwards at TD Ameritrade, says Craig Iskowitz, CEO of the tech consultancy Ezra Group.
“In other words, she’s a known commodity there,” Iskowitz explained in an interview.