Top Business-to-Business Wealth Tech Players

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If you’ve been following our series on wealth tech, you’ve seen our analysis of the industry as a whole, a review of the top trends, and an examination of B2C wealth tech players.

Our wealth tech coverage continues this week with a review of business-to-business (B2B) players in the wealth tech space. These are companies that cater directly to banks, advisors, or brokerages, instead of offering products or services directly to consumers. B2B wealth tech is a large category, so I’ve sub-divided it into four digestible groups and listed my top picks for each category. Since category sizes vary, the number of selections also varies.

Alternative investment services
These are platforms that help advisors connect clients with unconventional investment types, such as private equity, hedge funds, futures, real estate, etc.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 11.44.57 AMEquityZen’s EZ Institutional lets advisors give clients access to a diverse asset class

Technology for advisors and brokerages
These are tools available via API, SDK, or web interface to help advisors compete with robo advisors by allowing them to invest with less bias, increase client communication, scale operations, find new clients, and more.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 11.40.41 AMTrizic offers advisors their own digital tools to compete with robo advisors

Non-U.S. B2B investment and advisor technology
Similar to the above category, these companies offer tools for advisors outside of the U.S.

Screen Shot 2017-01-19 at 11.30.52 AMmeetInvest helps advisors invest like world-renowned market experts

News and Information Companies
These are online platforms, APIs, or SaaS offerings that provide advisors market information, show them trending news, or connect businesses with market data to power their own products.

Screen-Shot-2016-10-31-at-3.22.22-PMForwardLane’s dashboard acts like a private research analyst for advisors advisors, helping them stay current on new trends and funds

Top Direct-to-Consumer Wealthtech Plays

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Our wealthtech industry coverage continues this week. We looked at the industry last week and reviewed the top trends earlier this month. Today we’re taking a look at industry players with B2C offerings—in other words, companies that market directly to consumers and not through businesses.

Since wealthtech is broader than just roboadvisers, we’ve divided B2C wealthtech players into seven categories and laid out our top picks for each group. Since category sizes vary, the number of our selections also vary.

Top in-house builds from traditional players
These are offerings from traditional wealth management firms that have been built in-house (or purchased and then white-labeled) and marketed under the firm’s brand.

Fully automated roboadvisers
These are online platforms that provide automated, algorithm-based portfolio management without intervention from human advisers and without personalized, one-on-one conversations with a human adviser.

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-4-06-40-pmAcorns takes a unique approach by linking a user’s debit card and investing their “spare change”

Hybrid roboadvisers
These are traditional advisory services, including personalized conversations and actively managed portfolios blended with computerized portfolio recommendations. Business Insider reports hybrid roboadvisers will manage 10% of all investable assets by 2025.

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-4-11-08-pmSigFig has partnered with multiple banks, including Wells Fargo, Pershing, and Citizens Bank

Non-U.S. roboadvisers

Alternative investing platforms
These are platforms that link participants to unconventional investment types, such as private equity, hedge funds, futures, real estate, etc.

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-4-18-08-pmWith Motif, uses invest in grouped stocks and ETFs that revolve around a common theme

Non-U.S. alternative investing platforms

News and information companies
These are online platforms that help users discover news and market trends before they go mainstream. Some include social networking aspects.

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-4-23-47-pmTickerTags helps users discover trends even before they become news

Wealth Tech: A Fintech Buzzword Overview

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Continuing our series on wealth tech (check out our first post highlighting top trends), I wanted to step back and look at the industry as a whole. While multiple published analyses about robo advisors can be found, little is published regarding the broader wealth tech industry.

What is wealth tech?

Simply put, wealth tech is a segment of financial technology that focuses on enhancing wealth management and investing. That means that while robo advisors are a large—and quite popular—piece of the wealth-tech puzzle, other pieces merit discussion, too.

What does wealth tech encompass? Exclude?

Technology from traditional wealth management firms, alternative investment solutions from non-bank players, and tools to support financial advisors—all fall under wealth tech. Ancillary technology, such as PFM, are not considered part of wealth tech.

A robo advisor by any other name

While the term robo advisor is commonly used (a Google search produces 2.2 million results), not all automated management and advisory companies appreciate the name. For example, Personal Capital (FS14, FDSV16) CEO Bill Harris doesn’t classify his company as a robo advisor, which he views as a wholly automated investment tool. Instead, he strives to balance high tech with high touch. In an interview with WealthManagement.com Harris said, “We do have technology that is helping to automate and scale what we do, but in addition to that technology, just as important, are the individual advisers. Ultimately, the job of matching a household with the optimal portfolio is a more complicated thing than plugging information into a series of algorithms.” iQuantifi (FF14) is on the other end of the spectrum. In his demo at FinovateFall 2014, iQuantifi founder and CEO Tom White said, “We’re the only true robo advisor, and we’re not ashamed to call ourselves a robo advisor.”

Industry movement

Since the advent of robo advisors in 2008, we’ve seen a lot of growth in the U.S. robo advisory market. Take a look:

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Assets under management are predicted to climb six-fold in the next three years, to $2.2 trillion. With the number of robo advisor launches increasing by an average of 43% YOY since 2008, it’s likely we’ll see a decrease in the number of robo advisor launches in the U.S., combined with an increase in M&A (mergers and acquisitions) activity to further consolidate the industry.

Next week, I’ll continue the wealth tech industry analysis by taking a look at divisions in the industry and reviewing some key players.


Sources:

Financial Review
Logging on to the Future of Financial Advice
by James Frost

A.T. Kearney
Hype vs. Reality: The Coming Waves of “Robo” Adoption
by Teresa Epperson, Bob Hedges, Uday Singh, and Monica Gabel