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American Express Teams With Startup on Financial Planning Tool: Tech Roundup

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What You Need to Know

  • American Express joined forces with the startup BodesWell to launch My Financial Plan.
  • RIA Altium Wealth Management introduced the proprietary Altelligence investment platform.
  • Advisor360° appointed B2B marketing expert Cynthia Stephens to be its new vice president of marketing.

American Express has joined forces with startup BodesWell to launch a new My Financial Plan digital financial planning tool.

A six-month pilot of My Financial Plan started July 11 with about 25,000 American Express card holders, an American Express spokesperson told ThinkAdvisor on Thursday.

The move represents a return of sorts to financial planning for American Express, which spun off its Ameriprise division in 2005.

But the company doesn’t quite see it that way. “We are not entering the wealth management space with My Financial Plan,” the spokesperson said. “What we are doing is democratizing financial planning to those for whom it’s been previously cost prohibitive or who simply prefer to use a digital solution.”

My Financial Plan offers clients a “complete, visual picture of your financial health, allowing consumers to incorporate elements such as their American Express accounts, 401K account(s), savings, checking and more,” the spokesperson explained. The tool also enables users to plan for important life events, including the purchase of a house or expanding a family, “by using tested models that replicate these milestones and the impact they would have on their finances,” the spokesperson said.

“We believe the visual picture of a consumer’s financial health that My Financial Plan provides, along with the ability to plan for important life events, makes the product unique,” the spokesperson went on to say. “We also believe there is an appetite for a product that offers an easy-to-use tool to simplify and democratize financial planning for everyone.”

American Express invested in BodesWell in 2020 through the Amex Ventures division. But the company declined to say how much it invested.

American Express credit card members who want to try out My Financial Plan as part of a pilot program can do so by enrolling at the American Express website.

Altium Launches Altelligence Investment Platform

RIA Altium Wealth Management introduced the proprietary Altelligence investment platform that it said Wednesday was “designed by and for high-growth RIAs, provides low-cost investment solutions and delivers significant tax alpha.”

The firm, which focuses on high-net-worth individuals and families, is targeting the new platform at the wealth management community and their accounting partners, it said.

Key features include strategic asset allocation, opportunistic rebalancing and building diverse, risk-based, low-cost and tax-efficient portfolios.

Via its outsourced CIO services and TAMP-like offering, firms and their clients “can now benefit from Altium’s proprietary direct indexing strategies that generate significant tax alpha,” it said.

Altium’s proprietary approach is largely automated by a trading algorithm but is administered by the firm’s portfolio managers, and “differs from other solutions that only apply direct indexing strategies to a sleeve of client portfolios,” according to the firm.

Advisor360° Appoints VP of Marketing

Advisor360° appointed business-to-business marketing expert Cynthia Stephens to be its new vice president of marketing.

The firm’s wealth management platform streamlines advisor and broker-dealer workflows, increases productivity and drives enterprise digital transformation, it said.

Stephens has more than two decades of experience in B2B marketing, brand positioning and demand generation and is a leader in the creation of strategies and programs that drive growth for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms, the company said. Most recently, she served as vice president of demand generation at Lionbridge.

In her new role as head of marketing at Advisor360°, Stephens will develop the company’s go-to-market strategy, leading marketing efforts including positioning, content, demand generation, digital and product marketing, the company said.

Advisor360° is an independent software company that was spun off from Commonwealth Financial Network in 2019. Stephens’ hire comes shortly after MassMutual’s successful deployment of Advisor360° in June 2021 and the onboarding of Chris Ollendike as senor vice president and head of sales at Advisor360° in January.

(Photo: Shutterstock)