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T3 and ScratchWorks Team Up for Fall Conferences: Tech Roundup

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What You Need to Know

  • T3 attendees will be able to attend the ScratchWorks competition for free.
  • Meanwhile, Fidelity model portfolios are now available via JPMorgan’s 55ip tax-smart investment strategy platform.
  • RIA in a Box has acquired virtual desktop provider Itegria, the maker of AdvisorCloud.

Technology Tools for Today (T3) launched registration for the T3 Advisor and T3 Enterprise conferences, to be held back-to-back, Monday, Sept. 27 through Friday, Oct. 1, in Denton, Texas.

They were previously run as two separate events, at different venues and at different times of the year.

New this year is an event to be held in conjunction with the T3 conferences that is being run by ScratchWorks, a fintech accelerator that connects tech startups with wealth management leaders to advance the digital transformation of the financial services industry. It will be hosting its “Season 4” competition as a special event in conjunction with T3 at the Denton Convention Center, just north of Dallas.

Those who attend the T3 Advisor or T3 Enterprise conference will be provided free admission to the ScratchWorks competition, which is being sponsored this year by Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions, the University of Colorado (CU) Leeds School of Business and T3.

Orion Teams With FeeX

Orion Advisor Solutions has partnered with FeeX to help advisors efficiently manage and trade held-away accounts.

Held-away accounts including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, annuities and 529 education savings plans make up a significant part of most investors’ wealth, the companies noted in a joint announcement. The ability to manage such accounts provides new revenue streams for advisors and “cultivates better financial outcomes for their clients,” they said.

A new tool provides Orion users visibility into the held-away assets managed via the FeeX platform, giving advisors a more complete picture of an investor’s financial landscape. It also enables a more coordinated asset management strategy.

FeeX lets advisors trade their clients’ held-away accounts through a single interface, keeping them in compliance with various regulations, alleviating custody challenges and helping to eliminate conflicts of interest, the companies said.

JPMorgan’s 55ip Adds Fidelity Model Portfolios

Fidelity Institutional model portfolios are now available through J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s 55ip tax-smart investment strategy platform.

The Fidelity model portfolios, combined with 55ip’s ActiveTax technology, will help advisors “add scale and efficiency to their practices,” the companies said in a joint announcement.

Additionally, 55ip’s existing integration with Fidelity’s custodial platform has been enhanced to make the experience even easier for advisors, they said. The new, “deep integrations” were designed to “streamline and simplify the advisor experience,” and include: single-sign-on (SSO) from 55ip to Fidelity’s Wealthscape platform; automated account integration, eliminating the need for manual uploads; and enhanced processing for trade list execution.

The upgrades will help create a “more seamless experience” for advisors who custody with Fidelity, whether they are using Fidelity models or any of the other models available through 55ip, including advisor-designed models and those from BlackRock, JPMorgan, RiverFront Investment Group and WisdomTree.

J.P. Morgan Asset Management said late last year it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire fintech firm 55ip, which makes tools that let financial advisors deliver tax-smart investment strategies to clients. That news came less than two months after the companies said they had teamed up to give advisors the ability to easily and efficiently transition clients into JPMorgan model portfolios using 55ip’s automated tax technology.

RIA in a Box Buys Virtual Desktop Provider

RIA in a Box acquired Itegria, a provider of cloud-based virtual desktop solutions for RIAs. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“We’ve been working on this transaction for the last few months in an effort to combine two best-in-class software providers that offer complimentary solutions for advisors,” Will Bressman, RIA in a Box CEO, said on Thursday. “We had the confidence to purse the transaction because the relationship between the two companies goes back many years. The transaction was finalized on Monday.”

Itegria’s cloud-based virtual desktop technology, known as AdvisorCloud, provides RIAs with a flexible and secure approach to manage this major operational component of their businesses, according to the companies. Itegria enables RIA firms and their employees to securely access their work environments and data on virtually any device.

In recent years, RIA in a Box and Itegria have seen robust growth and, by merging, the firm will serve about 2,200 RIA firms managing more than $400 billion in assets, they said.

Flyer Integrates Co-Pilot With Morningstar TRX

Flyer, a provider of trading tools, connectivity and infrastructure for the wealth management industry, announced the rapid integration of Co-Pilot, its securities trading application programming interface (API), with the Morningstar Total Rebalance Expert (TRX) tax-efficient portfolio rebalancing platform.

The solution was designed to bring faster trade execution and a seamless user experience to financial advisors, Flyer said. “From start to finish, the integration upgrade took only eight weeks to complete,” it noted.

Flyer’s open API provides a “plug-and-play” development experience for its technology partners, it said.

Ethic Adds Ex-CFTC Chair as Advisor

Ethic added former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chair Timothy Massad as a strategic advisor.

In that role, Massad will “draw from his deep understanding of financial markets and the regulatory landscape — including the rapidly evolving role of environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures, and the accelerating pace of innovation in financial services — to offer strategic guidance that supports Ethic’s rapid growth trajectory,” according to Ethic.

Ethic’s asset management platform “powers personalization” for advisors, it said.