The Finovate Debuts series introduces new Finovate alums. At FinovateFall 2014, eMoney Advisor demoed its EMX platform, an upgraded version of their wealth-planning system for financial advisors.
- Founded in 2000
- Headquartered in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania
- Aggregates more than $1 trillion in client assets over more than 875,000 accounts
- Clients include TD Ameritrade, RBC Wealth Management, New York Life, and LPL Financial
- Works with 46 of the top 50 broker dealers
- Edmond Walters is CEO and founder
Kyle Wharton, who handles Business Development for eMoney Advisor, explained the key differentiator between his company’s technology and the world of robo-advisors this way:
“There are a lot of companies that are trying to disintermediate the advisor,” said Wharton. “We are trying to empower the advisor.”
The more you learn about eMoney Advisor, the more you realize how much automation is making investment advice easier to produce by advisors and more accessible to clients. You also realize that there is still a role for human advisors, especially when equipped with a new generation of technical tools that can help them do their jobs better.
eMoney Advisor was founded by Edmond Walters, a veteran financial advisor. His initial idea was to build a personal financial management tool that could be used with clients. But as the project developed, and he began to take feedback, it became clear that the project had a much larger, broader destiny than PFM.
“PFM was probably too early,” Wharton explained. “There was a niche need among clients. But the need was not very strong.” Instead, issues like insurance and wealth planning loomed larger as concerns for a broader base of clients.
To this end, eMoney’s demo at FinovateFall was, as Wharton calls it, “both a rebirth and rebranding” of the platform. The new platform, EMX (“the eMoney Experience”), introduced in New York last fall is due out in mid-December.
In building the new platform, the company focused on leveraging third-party integrations and ensuring ease of use. The goal is to help financial advisors serve their clients and build better relationships based on collaboration and transparency. To this end much of the functionality in EMX is geared toward promoting interactivity. This includes screen sharing features, an easy-to-read interface, and a client portal that an advisor’s clients can access at any time to view or print a report on their finances.
Below shows the main interface, providing at a glance information on assets under management, client non-held accounts, top holdings by net value change for the day, and more. The page also features a Financial Feed – “a Facebook or Twitter feed for your book of business” – that provides advisors with everything from alerts, alarms, tasks, and news. eMoney Advisor is working to include data feeds from sources like MorningStar, which will help advisors, for example, see and understand how an upcoming earnings release from Microsoft may impact his or her client’s holdings.
The platform has a number of portals that allow financial advisors to quickly see a client’s net worth, investments, asset allocation and more. The platform lets advisors run reports including ad hoc performance reports, and includes 200 predesigned reports that are updated nightly. A Facts Portal allows for speedy onboarding, whether the advisor is working solo or with a client present. The platform has both a presentation mode and screen sharing functionality to make it easy for advisors and their clients to collaborate.
The Plans Portal, according to Wharton, is where the advisor can “show off.” This analytics section gives the advisor the ability to run simulations, adding and exchanging different financial scenarios to see what net effect different financial assumptions have on the overall financial picture. The platform also has an online storage vault for keeping financial plans and records.
Another way of appreciating the collaborative, transparency-focus on the new platform from eMoney Advisor is via the Client Portal. This shows account information, net worth, investments, insurance, budgets, spending … everything from wealth management to the most basic personal finance management features are here. In addition to providing a lot of transparency for clients, advisors can also take advantage of the portal to conduct tasks like aggregating held-away accounts.
Analytics are the other key feature in EMX. Typically, advisors have to work with more than one program in order to compile the analytic data on their clients. EMX gives the data back to the advisor in a way that is easy to read, understand, and act on. Seeing assets by account type, or clients by age group, or ratios between managed and held away accounts can give advisors insights into their advisory business that might otherwise be difficult to see. And all of this contributes toward the goal of helping advisors leverage technology to help people more efficiently.
“It’s really mixing the art and the science,” said Kyle Wharton from the Finovate stage last fall. “It’s the value of the financial advisor, the expertise of that financial advisor, the knowledge of that financial advisor mixed in with our technology.
eMoney Advisor looks to help financial advisors not just use technology, but use technology differently, through interactive planning tools, screen sharing functionality, and similar features. “It’s about coaching and validation,” he explained. “You need a human being to ask ‘What do YOU think about this.'”
(Above: Kyle Wharton, Business Development, right, and Chad Porche, Development)
So far so good. The company partnered with HiddenLevers
, a portfolio stress testing platform, in November. And also that month announced that it has surpassed $1.4 trillion in investable assets managed by the 25,000 financial professionals using the platform. All of this is strong momentum leading up to the official launch of eMoney Advisor’s EMX
platform in December.
“What eMoney does better than any other software on the market is make the advisor/client relationship collaborative, transparent and efficient,” said founder and CEO Walters in a recent statement
. “Not only does this provide eMoney with an opportunity for sustained long-term growth, it also positions advisors and their clients for greater success in the future.”