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Pershing, Orion Deepen Integrations: Tech Roundup

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What You Need to Know

  • eMoney Advisor updated its API strategy and partnered with Akoya Data Access Network.
  • CircleBlack added a former Envestnet executive.
  • Smarsh launched applications for Zoom.

BNY Mellon’s Pershing and Orion Advisor Solutions have expanded their relationship via a series of technology integration updates.

The new integrations will enable advisors to easily navigate between NetX360, Pershing’s professional workstation, and the Orion platform, and provide access to real-time data and documents, the companies said in a joint announcement Tuesday.

“The expanded relationship will deliver advisors even more flexibility, deeper insights, and more choice, helping them realize new efficiencies, drive business growth and significantly enhance the advisor-client journey,” they said.

Additionally, the enhanced application programming interface (API)-level integration with Pershing will provide advisors on the Orion platform with access to real-time positions, balances and activity on their clients’ accounts, according to the companies.

Also, Pershing documents, including confirms, statements, tax documents and notifications, will now be available via Orion’s new Client Portal, providing investors with an “at-a-glance view of custodial documents within a single app connected to every aspect of their financial lives,” the companies said.

eMoney Advisor Updates API Strategy

Fidelity Investments’ eMoney Advisor software business has updated its API strategy, saying it has continued work to transition from credential-based data aggregation (“screen scraping”) to API-based data aggregation.

eMoney successfully transitioned seven of its largest volume connections to APIs by the end of 2020, and more than 60% of all screen-scraped accounts on the eMoney platform were migrated and connected through direct access via API, it said Thursday.

The company also partnered with Akoya, a financial data access network connecting financial institutions and data recipients. eMoney is the first data aggregator to join the Akoya Data Access Network, the companies said. With access to Akoya, eMoney plans to create a more streamlined flow of data and allow for more stable and secure connections.

eMoney is planning to go live later this year on the Akoya Data Access Network and eMoney clients will receive additional information closer to launch, it said.

Akoya was originally developed by Fidelity Investments to mitigate the risks associated with screen scraping. In February 2020, 11 North American banks invested in the now-independent company alongside Fidelity.

Sycamore Co. Launches Tech Solution

Sycamore Co., a provider of cloud-based financial technology solutions for front- to back-office operations, launched an advisor and trade surveillance solution to help RIAs and broker-dealers “mitigate the reputational, regulatory and operational risk of trading and commissions,” it said.

The new surveillance solution combines configurable alerts with normalized data, business intelligence and compensation reporting within one integrated platform built on Salesforce.

Kingswood Launches Enhanced Alternative Investment Platform

Kingswood U.S., a network of wealth management firms that oversees more than $2.1 billion in client assets, launched an enhanced retail alternative investments platform.

The new platform is part of its “broader strategy for investing in cutting-edge resources that elevate the financial advisor service experience, while enabling its advisors to seamlessly deliver the widest possible array of institutional-quality investment solutions that align with their clients’ needs and goals,” it said.

The fully digitized platform is powered by fintech firm WealthForge’s alternative investments subscription solution, Altigo.

Bluff Point Buys RIA Tech Solutions Provider

Private equity firm Bluff Point Associates acquired RIA technology solutions provider True North Networks, adding the managed services, private cloud hosting and managed security service provider to its growing portfolio of tech companies serving the financial services industry.

The transaction closed on March 12 and financial terms were not disclosed.

True North was founded in 2002 by Steven Ryder and provides Securities and Exchange Commission-compliant information, tech solutions, network security and support to independent RIAs and other financial services organizations across the U.S.

Ryder will continue to serve as president of True North, which will continue to be headquartered in Swanzey, New Hampshire. The company was previously employee-owned and each True North employee benefited from the acquisition.

Tifin Group Makes 2 Acquisitions

The Tifin Group, a holding company with nine fintech firms serving the asset and wealth management industry, acquired Totum Risk, a risk-profiling company, and myFinancialAnswers, a personal financial planning offering.

Tifin acquired the assets of the companies to “accelerate the launch of its own risk and financial planning solutions,” it said. Financial terms were not disclosed for the deals, which the company said closed in the first quarter.

As part of the transactions, Larry Shumbres, Totum Risk CEO, and Ben Pitts, myFinancialAnswers CEO, will join Tifin and be a central part of the new projects, Tifin said.

The new risk profiling launch will retain the Totum brand but the financial planning offering will use a new brand yet to be announced, Tifin said.

The acquisitions are part of a strategic expansion by Tifin, it said, and follow J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s acquisition of 55ip from Tifin in December.

CircleBlack Adds Ex-Envestnet Exec

CircleBlack hired its first chief product officer, Sarah Rasmuss, an ex-product development executive at Envestnet | Tamarac.

The appointment was part of CircleBlack’s initiative to “expand and diversify its fintech platform with new planning tools, an improved interface and advanced white labeling features,” it said.

Rasmuss, who started at CircleBlack March 15, has an extensive financial services background with direct experience in the fintech, wealth management, RIA and broker-dealer spaces.

As senior vice president of product development for Envestnet | Tamarac, she further integrated financial wellness planning tools, data aggregation services and improved core reporting and rebalancing product suites, according to CircleBlack.

Prior to that role, she was vice president of product in the Retirement Plan Services division of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, managing the digital product experience for institutional retirement clients.

At CircleBlack, she will oversee product management and marketing for the firm, with a focus on expanding mobile and digital capabilities; identifying prospective integration partners for the company’s open architecture platform; and simplifying the user experience to provide advisors with a “Roku-like ability to build their own tech stack,” CircleBlack said.

The CircleBlack platform aggregates data from multiple feeds and seamlessly integrates with existing customer relationship management, trading, risk and planning tools.

Expanded model management tools are planned, along with additional rebalancing features and accelerated integrations with third-parties, CircleBlack said. It is also launching a complete overhaul of the customer experience that will feature an enhanced design with improved navigation and tools for personalization, it said.

Refinitiv Launches Wealth Connect

Refinitiv launched a new digital collaboration capability, Refinitiv Wealth Connect, that it said was “designed to help wealth management firms and their advisors advance with the growing pace of digital transformation within the wealth management industry.”

The new capability will allow users of Refinitiv Digital Investor to collaborate dynamically with their advisors, other front office personnel or the home office of a wealth firm, it said. “Refinitiv Wealth Connect will be embedded seamlessly into Refinitiv Digital Investor to allow for collaboration through chat and chatbot, co-browsing, messaging, video and voice, it said.

Smarsh Launches Applications for Zoom

Smarsh launched three applications for the Zoom App Marketplace for RIAs and other financial firms.

The applications — Smarsh for Meetings, Smarsh for Phone and Smarsh for Chat — make capturing and archiving data even easier on Zoom and “build on the existing product integrations between Smarsh and Zoom at a time when demand for virtual meeting capabilities has surged across heavily regulated global banks, wealth management, and other financial institutions,” Smarsh said.

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