Citi Unveils Digital Investment Platform Powered by Jemstep

Citi Unveils Digital Investment Platform Powered by Jemstep
Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

Citi Wealth Builder is the latest addition to the world of digital investing platforms. Launched by Citi this week, the new solution features a low initial investment of $1,500 and no advisory fees for Citi Priority and Citigold clients on their initial portfolios. Citi Wealth Builder is powered by Jemstep, which demonstrated its digital advisory technology at FinovateSpring in 2013.

“We have worked closely with Citi to configure the Jemstep digital advice platform to provide a compelling client experience that supports Citi’s value proposition, omni-channel delivery capabilities and robust operational and compliance requirements,” Jemstep CEO and President Simon Roy said. Based in Los Altos, California and founded in 2008, Jemstep was acquired by Invesco in 2016.

Citi Wealth Builder works by pairing customers with one of six portfolios based on the customers’ responses to questions about their investment preferences and goals. Factors ranging as the customer’s ability to tolerate volatility to the current amount the customer already has saved are used to help ensure a good fit between customer and portfolio. The technology works automatically, monitoring and rebalancing the investment allocations; customers have the ability to adjust investment levels and see in real-time how those changes likely will affect investment outcomes.

“Citi Wealth Builder makes it easy for clients to start investing so they can reach the next level of their financial journey,” Head of Citi U.S. Consumer Wealth Management John Cummings said. “It’s part of Citi’s holistic approach to banking and wealth management. In just a few minutes, customers can start building a solid foundation for years to come.”

The new release from Citi comes a year after the firm’s launch of Citi Wealth Advisor, which gives Citigold clients their own relationship team to help them design and implement personalized financial plans. The unveiling of Citi Wealth Advisor was accompanied by Citi’s announcement that it would offer commission-free trading on ETFs and new-issue U.S. Treasury purchases for Citigold clients.

Finovate Alumni News


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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Jemstep Advisor Pro App Launches on Salesforce Exchange

Jemstep Advisor Pro App Launches on Salesforce Exchange

Digital advice solutions provider Jemstep announced today that its Jemstep Advisor Pro app is now live on the Salesforce AppExchange. The app can be used by advisors working with the company’s Advisor Pro digital advice platform, and is configured for Lightning and Financial Services Cloud as well as Sales and Service Cloud.

The new app will make it easier for wealth management companies who want to provide more personalized, 24/7 service to their clients. And by leveraging Salesforce, the solution is a boon for Jemstep’s enterprise customers, enabling them to access the data that will drive better, more meaningful engagement with both current and potential clients.

“Jemstep embraces collaborations to unify the digital advice experience for banks, broker-dealers, insurers, and RIAs,” Jemstep President and CEO Simon Roy explained. “Combining the modern, goal-based investing experience of Jemstep Advisor Pro with Salesforce’s extensive CRM capabilities results in an intelligent and scalable enterprise class digital platform for advisors supporting personalized solutions for investors.”

The new app from Jemstep will also help wealth management firms and advisors grow assets under management. The Salesforce integration, for example, gives advisors a broader, more comprehensive view of the investor-customer’s financial profile, including the ability to “engage retail banking clients in wealth management solutions.” As such, the app and integration support a “more targeted and scalable approach” with regards to attracting new clients and reaching out to current ones.

In addition to lower the cost of servicing clients, the Jemstep Advisor Pro app makes it easier for wealth managers to get investor information and data to advisors and back office teams more readily. Being able to onboard new clients in 10 minutes or less is another plus for the platform and app, leveraging straight-through processing and deep custodian integrations to make opening and managing accounts straightforward and seamless.

“We are excited to welcome Jemstep to Salesforce AppExchange and into the Financial Services Cloud ecosystem,” SVP and GM for Financial Services at Salesforce Rohit Mahna said. “We look forward to watching Jemstep continue to build innovative solutions that empower financial advisors to deliver the best client experience.”

Jemstep was founded in 2008, and is headquartered in Los Altos, California. The company demonstrated its Portfolio Manager at FinovateSpring 2013 and, three years later, was acquired by Invesco for an undisclosed sum. More recently, Jemstep has forged partnerships FIs like KeyBank, which deployed the company’s Advisor Pro solution in 2017.

Finovate Alumni News


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Around the web

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

KeyBank to Implement Jemstep Advisor Pro

KeyBank to Implement Jemstep Advisor Pro

When Jemstep was acquired by Invesco a year and a half ago, Invesco CEO Martin Flanagan highlighted the importance of combining technology and human insight to produce better investment outcomes for customers. Today’s news that Jemstep has partnered with KeyBank’s Key Investment Services (KIS), provides another opportunity for Invesco’s roboadvisor to prove Flanagan right.

Marc Vosen, Key Investment Services president, called Jemstep “a clear choice” for the firm, underscoring the company’s “proven, cost-effective platform” and integrations with a number of KeyBank partners. “And as a subsidiary of Invesco,” Vosen added, “I know they will be there tomorrow.” As part of the deal, Key Investment Services will deploy Jemstep Advisor Pro, a white-label, robo advisor that provides tiered investment services and advisor access levels to enable financial professionals to work with a variety of different customer segments. The platform guides investors toward appropriate investments by analyzing responses to a customizable risk tolerance survey, and provides both integrated trading and portfolio rebalancing.

Today’s partnership comes a month after Jemstep announced a deal with independent financial advisory firm network, Advisor Group. Phoenix, Arizona-based Advisor Group serves more than 5,000 advisors and oversees $160 billion in client assets. In February, Jemstep partnered with SSG in a deal that would give more than 1,500 RIA client firms access to its Advisor Pro platform. Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Los Altos, California, Jemstep demonstrated its Portfolio Manager at FinovateSpring 2013. The company had raised $15 million in funding previous to its acquisition in January 2016.

Finovate Alumni News


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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News


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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Top Trends in Wealthtech: From API-ization to Virtual Engagement

Top Trends in Wealthtech: From API-ization to Virtual Engagement


Wealth management technology provider eMoney Advisor, pictured here at FinovateFall, was acquired by Fidelity Investments in 2015 for $250 million.

With 2017 just around the corner, what trends are likely to drive innovations in wealth management technology, aka wealth tech?

The biggest potential regulatory change is the Department of Labor rule that financial planners must act as fiduciaries. The Trump election victory, accompanied by Republican control over both houses of Congress, may make this rule irrelevant. But most in the wealth management industry are nevertheless making preparations in the event the rule (announced this past spring and to be rolled out next spring) is kept. One concern with regard to the fiduciary rule specifically related to wealth tech is how fiduciary responsibility would work with robo-advisories. Can an automated investment platform determine conflicts of interest between the planner and client? What technological tools will be needed to give robo-advisory platforms this capacity? Maintaining fiduciary responsibility with a robotic investment platform suggests two potential scenarios: increasing use of human advisers in combination with automated technology, and deploying sentiment analysis technologies to better interpret nonverbal communication between planners and clients. Interestingly, both of these solutions are connected to other trends in wealth management, such as virtual meetings/conferences.

Use of virtual meetings

Virtual meetings will help wealth managers respond to a variety of issues, including better engagement and multichannel/channel-of-choice engagement. Virtual meetings could even help managers deal with greater fiduciary responsibilities. The channels can include everything from the use of Skype calls and video conferencing to more elaborate virtual meeting platforms such as those from Finovate alums like SuiteBox (F16) and SaleMove (F16). Both PwC and Deloitte have noticed the trend. “Multichannel delivery will become a strategy for delivering advice to clients in the most convenient, most efficient way possible based on each client’s particular needs at particular moments,” said PwC, in a recent look at wealth management technology trends. Deloitte noted that “new combinations of digital and human-based channels” are not just for millennials, saying that some gen-Xers and boomers “want to engage in new ways” as well.

According to a study conducted by Investment News/Cambridge, only 4% of advisers who responded currently list video conferencing as one of their communication methods, but 32% expect to rely on it more within five years. Douglas Boneparth, partner at Life and Wealth Planning, told Investment News, “I am seeing advisers, especially younger advisers, adapt to a more virtual and technologically savvy way of doing business. Advisers are focused on the level of service we provide and being accessible in more ways … virtual meetings is a great example of that.”

API-driven platform-ization

The ability to integrate financial data using APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) has been a huge boon for finance in general and wealth tech in specific. API use and adoption within wealth tech is especially strong where brokerage services are involved, (e.g., order-management system APIs). At a fundamental level, APIs enable linking multiple apps (portfolio management, document management, pricing systems); eliminate manual data entry; and limit mistakes during data transfer and update.

Marion Asnes of Broadridge Financial Solutions emphasized this last point. “Platforms must aggregate performance data across various institutions, and then, integrate planning, portfolio accounting, trading, reporting, and communications functions,” Asnes wrote for Investment News. “A wealth manager would need to aggregate performance data from all the various accounts in one place and base recommendations on that complete picture.” Writing in Quovo, John Horneff presented APIs also as an opportunity for managers to differentiate themselves, “leveraging new, innovative technology to break away from the pack and provide unique offerings.”


Stephane Dubois, CEO of Xignite, during his company’s demo at FinovateAsia 2016. Xignite serves more than one one trillion market data API calls a year.

Xignite (F16) founder and CEO Stephane Dubois says the most salient factors of robo-advisory are: “ETFs, Trading APIs, and Market Data APIs.” Dubois’ firm is an acknowledged leader in the latter. With clients that are a who’s who of wealth management innovators—think Betterment (F11); Motif Investing (F14); Personal Capital (F14); and TipRanks (F13)—Xignite launched its FintechRevolution API Ecosystem in 2015 in an effort to make financial APIs more available to startups.

Growing importance of platforms

Both digital storage and ensuring ready accessibility of data are two trends in wealth management that point to the growing importance of advisor platforms to help wealth managers to their work. This is clearly one area where technology is playing a major role, especially for those focusing on the “accessibility of data” issue. Quoted in Investment News, Overplays co-founder Abby Schneiderman said, “Having data all in one place is one more way advisers can serve their clients’ needs … . I think one thing advisers are looking for is singular places to house all of their client’s information: wishes, documents, investment accounts, etc. in one place.”

Innovations in wealth management and financial advice platforms enable better engagement. Innovative platforms can give advisers more “surface area” for conversation and engagement with their clients. A good example is Polly Portfolio (F16) that uses natural language technology to ask customers about their financial goals and economic outlook to personalize and, importantly, explain portfolio construction. Combined with API-delivery and the inclusion of functionality like video, innovations in platform design will be key to help managers and advisors take advantage of industry trends.

HNW clients and robo-advisory

As robo-advisory becomes both more sophisticated and more accepted, an increasing number of high net worth (HNW) individuals are taking the automated investment route for some part of their finances. Betterment’s Jon Stein says their largest customer has $10 million invested with the company. He adds that many HNW people are already investors, but are now upping their investment from 5% two years ago to 20% (Stein defines HNW as having assets above $500,000).

Catering to high net worth clients, according to some, involves both greater technological sophistication on the part of robo-advisors as well as more extensive customer service. Writing in the CBInsights Blog, the analysts noted that one criticism of robo-advisors is that the very wealthy might have “more complex investment needs and higher customer service expectations.”

Specifically, high net worth clients may require access to more complex investment vehicles, including non-equity investments, as well as more advanced rebalancing and tax harvesting than the average investor. Other services, such as helping HNW clients manage sizable amounts of cash a la MaxMyInterest (F14), would also help encourage more wealthy investors to allocate a portion of their assets to robo-advisors.


Herbert Moore and Jennifer Chin of WiseBanyan during their FinDEVr Silicon Valley debut. WiseBanyan is an independent robo-advisor that caters to millennials.

“Small data”

One large trend wherever clients and customers are involved is the role of small data, the kind of basic client data—demographics, for example—that can be very informative for the financial planner or wealth manager. In terms of increasing engagement, providing more accurate and personalized financial guidance, a little information about a client’s personal circumstances can go a long way.

In addition to providing better service to customers, small data can be the key to making a wealth management or financial planning business more efficient. Knowing which revenues are coming from new versus existing clients, for example, can help managers get the right products and services to the right customers. This is another area where innovators have produced platforms and software to help analyze client data and provide insights, often leveraging visualization technologies.

Robo-advisories: build or buy?

For financial institutions looking to provide wealth management services via robo-advisor, the question is whether to build or buy. While each approach has advantages and disadvantages, many FIs and brokerage firms have already decided:

Examples of firms that have gone the “roll your own” route include Fidelity with its Fidelity Go; Schwab with its Schwab Intelligent Portfolios; Vanguard with its Vanguard Personal Advisors Services; and E-Trade with its E-Trade Adaptive Portfolio.

But acquisitions have been a way for FIs to get up and running with robo-advisory service in a hurry. Some of the more notable recent acquisitions include Legg Mason’s purchase of Financial Guard (F13); Invesco PowerShares acquisition of Jemstep (F13); and Blackrock’s taking on FutureAdvisor (F13).

Other FIs are splitting the difference and instead seek partnerships with robo-advisors. The recent agreement and investment between Citizens Bank and SigFig to help the former build out a robo-advisory platform is an example of this approach.

Changing nature of advice

The growing capacity of robo-advisors to help manage other aspects of personal finance supports a more expansive view of wealth management and financial planning. This includes everything from health care planning, insurance, even real estate, education and leisure. The ability of technology to aggregate financial information is a major catalyst here, giving managers the ability to provide guidance beyond traditional boundaries.

Much of what is driving the changing nature of advice has to do with those being advised. The myriad and interconnected financial concerns affecting millennials—from managing student loan debt to starting a family—mean that financial planning beyond how to invest in a 401(k) is increasingly relevant and necessary. At the other end of the spectrum, active older adults in the “longevity economy” have financial issues that differ from those of seniors a generation ago who often had pensions and other financial support later in life.

This is where companies like iQuantifi (F14)—a self-described “proud robo-advisor” and virtual financial advisor—come in, with a platform that provides planning and guidance over a wide variety of topics, including insurance. Millennials are being catered to by wealth tech firms like WiseBanyan (FD16) while near and recent retirees can look to a company like True Link (F14), which specializes in financial planning for seniors.

FT Partners New Research Report on Digital Wealth Management Features a Dozen Finovate Alums

FT Partners New Research Report on Digital Wealth Management Features a Dozen Finovate Alums

FTPartners_logo_2The new research report on digital wealth management from Financial Technology Partners is a timely reminder of just how deep the firm’s dedication to, and insight into, the fintech world goes (that the report features a dozen Finovate and FinDEVr alums is pretty neat, too).

FT Partners’ report “Are the Robots Taking Over? The Emergence of Automated Digital Wealth Management Solutions” looks at the different platforms and business models used by digital wealth management companies, as well as the response by industry incumbents. The 140+ page report also features interviews with CEOs from leading major digital wealth-management companies such as Betterment, Nutmeg, and SigFig.

Writing about this FT Partners’ report on digital wealth management for Bloomberg View, columnist and money manager Barry Ritholtz noted:

“For those of you who may not have thought much about how technology might affect Wall Street, the work you do each day, and how you do it—not to mention what it means for your careers—this report is invaluable.”

Ritholtz outlined how his own experience as a money manager had been shaped by the rapidly changing technology landscape (“My office is small, but thanks to technology, and fintech in particular, we are able to be very productive with just 14 people,” he wrote). He also admits this productivity comes at a cost for some. “Those people who don’t adapt will find themselves with limited career options,” Ritholtz writes.

So who are the disruptors in the digital wealth management space of whom both FT Partners and Ritholtz speak?



















  • Founded in 2008
  • Headquartered in Los Altos, California
  • Kevin Cimring and Michael Blumenthal are joint CEOs
  • Acquired by Invesco, January 2016
  • FinovateSpring 2013




  • Founded in 2009
  • Headquartered in New York, New York
  • Alexa von Tobel is CEO and founder
  • Acquired by Northwestern Mutual, March 2015
  • FinovateFall 2013
















  • Founded in 2005
  • Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida
  • Donato Montanaro is CEO
  • Acquired by Ally Financial, April 2016
  • FinovateSpring 2008


Finovate Alumni News


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  • “GreenKey Technologies Names Richard Garnier as Chief Revenue Officer”

Around the web

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  • OurCrowd interviews BioCatch CEO Eyal Goldwerger. Check out OurCrowd at FinovateSpring next week.
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  • Thomson Reuters unveils new version of its ONESOURCE tax solution for companies doing business in Brazil.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Invesco Acquires Jemstep for Undisclosed Sum

Invesco Acquires Jemstep for Undisclosed Sum


Global investment management firm, Invesco, has acquired Jemstep, a startup that provides digital financial planning resources for professional advisers. Terms of the purchase were not immediately available.

“We believe investors are best served by partnering with a financial adviser to reach their unique investment goals,” says Martin L. Flanagan, Invessco CEO and president. “Jemstep’s proven platform enhances our ability to help advisers grow their business and … deliver superior client experiences in a rapidly evolving market environment.”


From left: Jemstep CEO Kevin Cimring and CTO Matthew Rennie demonstrated Jemstep Portfolio Manager at FinovateSpring 2013.

Jemstep is an online investment adviser that specializes in providing personalized advice to help people meet their financial and retirement goals. The company’s Portfolio Manager solution predicts how much money a given investment portfolio is likely to provide in retirement, and suggests alternative investment strategies that may yield even greater returns, including an action plan that specifies exactly what to buy and what to sell in all of their accounts, including 401(k) accounts. Lastly, the platform provides continuous monitoring and alerts to help investors, financial planners, and advisers stay on track.

Jemstep was highlighted in June 2015 by Let’s Talk Payments as one of those companies “pushing the envelope” in payment analytics. The same month, ThinkAdvisor looked at Jemstep in a column on the evolution of financial advisers. In May, Fox Financial Planning Network announced that it would use Jemstep’s Advisor Pro as the automated service platform for its AdvisorTouch Symphony program. And in April 2015, Jemstep partnered with Orion Advisor Services to bring automation to independent advisers on Orion’s platform.

Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Palo Alto, Jemstep demonstrated its Portfolio Manager at FinovateSpring 2013. Kevin Cimring and Michael Blumenthal are joint CEOs.

Finovate Alumni News

Around the web

  • Let’s Talk Payments features Feedzai, Swipely, BillGuard, Wealthfront, Jemstep, SigFig, and Vouch in its review of companies “pushing the envelope” in payment analytics.
  • Zooz partners with Avalara to bring tax-compliance tools to its payment platform.
  • Daily Fintech profiles DarcMatter and its plan to bring access to alternative investments to the accredited masses.
  • TransferWise sets world record for largest human currency symbol.
  • Bank Investment Consultant takes a look at Betterment, Personal Capital, Motif Investing, FutureAdvisor, Blooom, Wealthfront, and Vanguard in its look at how traditional advisers can compete against robo-advisers.
  • BlinkMobile Interactive wins best enterprise mobility solution at Cloud World Series Awards in London.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.