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LPL Picks SmartAsset for Vendor Affinity Program: Tech Roundup

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What You Need to Know

  • Morgan Stanley and Microsoft entered into a strategic cloud partnership.
  • RIA in a Box adds a new automated RIA communications archiving and review solution.
  • Orion and HiddenLevers announce their first post-acquisition deal.

LPL Financial selected SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform for inclusion in its Vendor Affinity Program, SmartAsset said on Thursday.

Starting this month, the more than 18,000 independent financial advisors who are affiliated with LPL will be able to leverage the SmartAdvisor platform, which connects validated consumer prospects with fiduciary financial advisors across the U.S.

LPL-affiliated advisors will also have the opportunity to use SmartAsset’s Live Connections service, which SmartAsset said is a “new way of delivering high-intent, validated consumer prospects.” Live Connections reduces advisors’ marketing burden by eliminating the time they spend prospecting, contacting and following up with potential clients.

LPL’s Vendor Affinity Program was launched in 2015 to help advisors reduce the complexity and costs of running their businesses, curating a network of third-party vendors that have agreed to provide their products and services to LPL advisors at discounted prices. Vendors are selected for inclusion based on advisor demand, the ease of using their products or services, and their ability to meet LPL’s security and compliance requirements.

Morgan Stanley Partners With Microsoft

Morgan Stanley and Microsoft on Wednesday announced a strategic cloud partnership they said was designed to accelerate Morgan Stanley’s digital transformation and shape the future of innovation in the financial services sector.

Morgan Stanley clients, employees and businesses will benefit from the pact with a “deeper breadth of available services based on cloud-native offerings; tooling and resources for developers that enable faster delivery of applications and enhancements, most notably for its clients and 15,000+ financial advisors in wealth management,” the firms said.

Morgan Stanley will also be able to offer easier data sharing with institutional clients via offerings including its application programming interface portal providing direct connectivity in the cloud, the companies noted.

The scope of the Morgan Stanley-Microsoft deal extends beyond the cloud. “The partnership will also shape the broader Microsoft product offering and create additional collaboration opportunities in the financial services industry focused on the modern workplace and the broader developer experience,” the firms said.

RIA in a Box Introduces New Solution

RIA in a Box introduced a new Communications Archiving and Review solution on Thursday.

The new product offers RIA firms the ability to “efficiently execute firm archiving duties all within the MyRIACompliance platform,” it said. The solution includes features that will simplify the necessary tasks to collect, organize, retrieve and review communications data.

The new RIA in a Box solution, available now for Securities and Exchange Commission- and state-registered RIA firms of all sizes to enhance their compliance programs, helps to automate the archiving process for website content, social media and email communication. Users can add this new solution to their existing RIA in a Box subscription or it can be bought as a standalone product.

Orion and HiddenLevers Announce First Post-Acquisition Deal

Cardea Capital, a $3 billion, Atlanta-based RIA and turnkey asset management program (TAMP), will use the portfolio stress-testing and risk analytics of HiddenLevers as part of the first deal announced since Orion Advisor Solutions said in March it was acquiring HiddenLevers.

Orion completed its acquisition of the portfolio stress-testing platform last month.

Cardea Capital has already been using Orion as the core of its technology systems, the companies said in a joint announcement Wednesday. The RIA plans to use HiddenLevers to augment its own TAMP offering, improve its portfolio management capabilities, and engage clients with interactive portfolio analysis and real-time stress-testing, the firms said.

Cardea advisors now have access to interactive portfolio analysis, real-time stress testing with a continually updated library of economic scenarios, and HiddenLevers’ investment proposals.

Envestnet, FIDx Add AIG Annuity Solutions

Envestnet and Fiduciary Exchange (FIDx), a product-agnostic platform that connects insurance solutions with wealth management platforms and other providers, added annuity solutions from AIG Life & Retirement through their integrated platform.

The AIG Advisory annuities being offered include a suite providing fee-based fixed, index and variable products. This expands the selection of annuities accessible to financial advisors on the Envestnet Insurance Exchange, Envestnet | MoneyGuide and Halo platforms, as well as directly through the Fiduciary Exchange (FIDx) Protection Intelligence platform, the firms said on Wednesday.

The AIG Advisory suite includes the Polaris Advisory variable annuity, Power Index Advisory index annuity and Assured Edge Advisory fixed annuity.

The addition supports FIDx’s goals of expanding annuity distribution and providing financial advisors with income and protection strategies from leading solution providers to meet client needs, the companies said. FIDx offers commission- and fee-based annuities from firms including AIG, Allianz Life, Nationwide, Prudential Financial and Transamerica.

FMG Suite Introduces New Lead-Generation Capabilities

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company FMG Suite has integrated new lead generation capabilities into its platform.

“Unlike organic inbound marketing efforts, which require a long-term time investment, lead generation tools are designed to generate new business leads quickly,” FMG Suite said. Through paid advertising tactics, its new lead generation tools drive prospects to landing pages that it said “trigger an immediate response.”

The new capabilities allow advisors to generate ongoing inbound leads with: branded website components; valuable, engaging content; social sequences and display ads to increase online visibility; event marketing tools; and automated referral campaigns, FMG Suite said.

Riskalyze Teams With Foundations

Riskalyze and Foundations Investment Advisors announced an enterprise agreement on Wednesday they said will provide more than 180 U.S. financial advisors access to Riskalyze’s risk alignment and portfolio analytics platform.

Foundations partnered with Riskalyze after identifying the need to standardize risk assessment workflows across the entire organization, the firms said in a joint announcement.

The deal “represents growing momentum for the Risk Number and the Fearless Investing Movement in many of the country’s fastest-growing fiduciary RIA firms who are adopting the best technology to equip their advisors to succeed,” they said.

“In addition to standardizing their risk tolerance questionnaire and portfolio alignment tools, Foundations’ financial advisors will be equipped with the sophisticated analytics and research tools Riskalyze has become known for and a suite of tools for enhanced ways to engage with clients,” the companies added.