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Ex-TD Ameritrade Exec Joins Robinhood: Tech Roundup

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What You Need to Know

  • Concourse Financial Group Securities selected the SmartAdvisor platform as its first outside lead generation service.
  • SEI launched Digital Account Open and Digital Model Management for independent advisors.
  • Apex Fintech Solutions acquired PDQ Enterprises.

Steve Quirk, formerly of TD Ameritrade, is joining Robinhood Markets as its first chief brokerage officer to oversee Robinhood broker-dealers, Robinhood Financial and Robinhood Securities, effective Jan. 10, Robinhood said Thursday in a blog post on its website.

Quirk “will help us scale our products and services efficiently and safely, so we can help more people begin their investing journey,” according to Robinhood.

He previously served as executive vice president of trading at TD Ameritrade, overseeing the strategy and deployment of initiatives for trading. He also served as a member of the company’s senior operating committee.

Quirk also was once responsible for the development of new trading tools and technology enhancements for the thinkorswim trading platform. He was with TD Ameritrade since 2007, according to his LinkedIn profile.

SEI Deals Death Blow to Paper-Based Onboarding

SEI on Wednesday announced the launch of Digital Account Open and Digital Model Management, two new technology enhancements for independent advisors via the SEI Wealth Platform.

“Digital Account Open simplifies opening a new client account, expanding SEI’s current electronic onboarding and eSignature process with an end-to-end, easy-to-use new tool,” it said. “The technology is built to eliminate the traditional paper-based process and enables advisors to open client accounts entirely digitally.”

Features include: a step-by-step workflow to guide the input process; adaptable onboarding, from launch to collecting an e-signature, and the ability to pause and save progress or assign responsibility to other authorized team members; an integrated process to catch input mistakes and help avoid “not in good order” submissions; and a dashboard with pending accounts, work in progress and more.

Digital Model Management, meanwhile, offers a digital way for advisors to deploy and interact with client portfolios, all in a unified managed account framework, SEI said. “The cloud-native application allows advisors to personalize client portfolios in accordance with their financial goals, risk tolerance, tax and fee preferences, and more,” according to the company.

Features include a dashboard for creating and adjusting investment models across all types of investment strategies, including mutual funds, ETFs and SMAs; smart workflows with an intuitive setup that follows the relevant steps for each investment change; and a digital interface featuring an overview of any investment change’s impact on cost, risk and more.

As of Sept. 30, SEI manages, advises or administers about $1.3 trillion in assets.

Concourse Selects SmartAdvisor for Leads

Concourse Financial Group Securities selected SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform as its first outside lead generation service, making it available to Concourse’s network of more than 500 advisors and brokers, the companies said in a joint announcement on Thursday.

SmartAdvisor is an online destination for financial information and a national marketplace connecting consumers to financial advisors that provides customized investor prospecting solutions with built-in compliance processes that satisfy regulatory requirements, the companies said.

The SmartAsset platform reaches about 75 million people each month (as of September) through its educational content and personalized calculators and tools, according to the companies.

New, closed assets under management for advisors on SmartAdvisor increased from $5 billion in 2019 to $10 billion in 2020 and $20 billion in 2021, according to the companies. SmartAsset’s goal is to refer $100 billion in new, closed AUM to advisors by 2024.

The average SmartAdvisor investor is about 57 years old and has investable assets of $890,000, and 76% reported they don’t have an advisor, the companies said. About 70% are retired or less than 10 years away from retirement.

SmartAsset recently closed a $110 million Series D funding round, valuing the company at over $1 billion.

Apex Buys PDQ Enterprises

Apex Fintech Solutions acquired PDQ Enterprises, the parent company of CODA Markets, the operator of an auction-based alternative trading system and smart order router that aims to optimize liquidity aggregation for all market participants, Apex said Thursday.

The purchase will allow Apex to “expand and evolve its trading and execution capabilities, creating opportunities to deliver increased liquidity, improved execution quality and new products to clients,” it said.

CODA’s most recent innovation is CODA Fuse, an intraday auction product that helps equip investors to prioritize liquidity over speed by enabling a single order to trade simultaneously with multiple counterparties.

The purchase price of the transaction wasn’t specified and Apex didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Image: Shutterstock)