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Orion Adds Behavioral Finance to Financial Planning Platform: Tech Roundup

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What You Need to Know

  • Orion's new tool helps advisors keep their clients calm during market volatility and improves financial outcomes.
  • Envestnet announces several spring updates that enhance its platform.
  • Snappy Kraken acquired industry website builder and existing integration partner Advisor Website.

Orion Advisor Solutions added behavioral finance to its financial planning technology platform, the company said.

The firm’s new, goals-based investing approach, called “Protect, Live, Dream,” utilizes “mental accounting to help clients achieve a sense of calm and security while simultaneously striving to reach their dreams,” according to Orion.

While developing Protect, Live, Dream, “we aimed to provide advisors with a tool that helps keep their clients calm during market volatility, improves their client’s financial outcomes, and, ultimately, guides their clients to better financial planning habits,” Dr. Daniel Crosby, chief behavioral officer at Orion, said Monday in a statement.

Clients can join their advisors in crafting personalized plans that better serve their short- and long-term financial goals, the company said.

Separately, Orion said it’s backing an “industry-wide effort to advocate for the adoption of real-time data sharing technology to improve data accessibility and transparency for independent advisors.”

As part of the initiative, Orion said it’s using Amazon Redshift cloud-based data warehousing technologies from Amazon Web Services.

Amazon Redshift allows Orion to enhance the speed, performance and scalability of its data processing solutions without requiring a large infrastructure investment, Orion said.

Orion also tweeted Wednesday that it’s hiring. “Work from anywhere in the country, keep wearing what you want, and we’ll give you the tools and ‘the attire’ to succeed. Check out our careers page to explore your next best opportunity here:

Envestnet Adds Tax Management, Sustainable Investing Features

Ahead of its Envestnet Advisor Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina, May 11-12, the company announced it made several technology updates throughout its ecosystem.

The enhancements were “designed to meet and exceed the evolving technology and investing needs of financial advisors and their clients,” and were a part of a series of spring releases including investment products, web-based planning solutions, and an optimized advisor and client experience, Envestnet said.

The company will unveil “additional innovations as part of our roadmap” at the Advisor Summit, according to Molly Weiss, Head of Product for Envestnet Wealth.

New Envestnet features includes next-generation proposal workflow that it said is “driven by feedback from advisors, who can now access” several capabilities within proposals for new investment products, it said.

The new features include Fund Strategist Tax Management, allowing advisors to outsource and automate tax management on either third-party manager or proprietary home office fund strategist portfolio accounts at scale and personalized to their individual clients’ tax situations and investment goals.

Also new are sustainable investing strategies and overlays that Orion said “enable advisors to incorporate institutional-quality and customized sustainable investment approaches into client portfolios.”

Rounding out the new features are: Private Wealth Consulting, enhanced account setup features including more flexible dollar cost average settings and account-level security restrictions, and updated performance reports.

Meanwhile, Envestnet | Tamarac updates for spring include: Streamlined navigation for Unified Managed Accounts in the client portal and in the Reporting solution; compliance tools to support advisors’ Form ADV and 13F reporting; enhanced reporting capabilities; and continued usability enhancements for the new modernized trading experience with simplified Rebalancing workflow.

Envestnet | MoneyGuide also completed a new integration with Special Needs Map, a web-based planning tool, to help estimate how much money clients may want to leave a child with special needs after they pass, Envestnet said.

Snappy Kraken Buys Advisor Websites

Snappy Kraken acquired industry website builder and existing integration partner Advisor Websites to “create a holistic solution for websites, branding and digital marketing,” it said Tuesday.

Financial terms of the transaction, already finalized, weren’t disclosed by Snappy Kraken, who said the acquisition will “significantly grow market share while simultaneously expanding its capabilities for serving advisors with websites, branding, and other creative services.”

Advisor Websites will be branded as a Snappy Kraken company, and Graham Turner, Advisor Websites president, will assume the role of president of the new entity, which Snappy Kraken said will “combine the strengths” of employees from both firms as it makes investments in its corporate culture and staff.

Although the integration “will take several months to complete, Snappy Kraken and Advisor Websites have an existing integration that shares contact data, performance statistics, and select Snappy Kraken campaigns between platforms,” according to Snappy Kraken. Discounts are available to advisors using both platforms.

Financing for the acquisition was supported by existing Snappy Kraken investors FinTop Capital, Flyover Capital Partners and Mariner Wealth Advisors affiliate Montage Fund Advisors, according to the firm.

Principal Adds Fintech-Enabled Portfolio Solution

Principal Global Investors expanded its model portfolios with 37 new portfolios and a fintech-enabled portfolio solution that it said will “help advisors increase client customization, scale, and efficiency.”

The new model portfolios are managed by Principal’s asset allocation investment team.

The model portfolios include mutual funds and exchange-traded funds from diversified asset managers and are “categorized into four interchangeable, risk-based suites to help advisors expand their businesses and personalize their clients’ investment portfolios,” Principal said: Two core, multi-manager portfolio suites, one core ETF portfolio suite, and one growth and income multi-manager portfolio suite.

To provide an end-to-end solution for advisors using the new model portfolios, Principal said it collaborated with Smartleaf Asset Management to develop a modern, fintech-enabled portal.

The fintech-enabled portfolios “integrate into the existing infrastructure and tech stacks of advisors without needing to change operational processes,” the firm said.

OSAM Expands ESG on Canvas

Franklin Templeton subsidiary O’Shaughnessy Asset Management says it has expanded the environmental, social and governance investing capabilities on its custom indexing platform, Canvas.

The added functionality uses “proprietary advances in software development and quantitative investment research” to provide advisors with further control and transparency in aligning individual clients’ values with portfolio holdings, the company said.

“To encourage greater exploration and adoption of personalized investing, Canvas does not charge additional fees for constructing ESG portfolios on the platform,” it added.

FMG Suite Enhances its Platform

Software-as-a-Service company FMG Suite, which specializes in marketing software and services for advisors, announced enhancements to its platform and a “refresh of its brand to reflect its increasingly prominent position as a marketing thought-leader,” the company said Tuesday.

The platform enhancements include a mobile app that the company said gives advisors access to FMG’s full customizable content library, including artificial intelligence-driven curated content, and sends the advisor an alert when timely content is posted, it said.

Also new is “Do It For Me Marketing.” Samantha Russell, FMG’s chief evangelist, and Susan Theder, its chief marketing and experience officer, will develop monthly marketing plans for advisors including their recommended social media and email activities. They will also write exclusive content.

Also new are inline website editing, a video blog and reputational management, a tool now in beta with a group of RIAs that can automate the delivery of Net Promoter Score surveys to clients.

Meanwhile, the firm’s new motto — “Our expertise is showing off yours” — “captures the essence of what we do for advisors,” Theder said.

(Image: Shutterstock) 


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