LPL Financial on Thursday announced a new feature in its centrally managed advisory Model Wealth Portfolio platform that it said provides advisors with more flexibility to combine models within a client’s portfolio.
Advisors can bring together models of varying risk scores and investment objectives to create unique and diversified portfolios designed to address each client’s goals and risk tolerance, according to LPL. Advisors can combine models of different investment objectives, as long as the account’s total risk score aligns with the client’s overall account investment objective.
The risk score is determined using AdvisoryWorld’s risk scoring methodology, which LPL has built directly into MWP and is available to any advisor who uses the platform, it said.
Now, instead of using one strategist to manage the portfolio, advisors can simply diversify across multiple strategists, as well as their own Advisor Sleeve models, to create a unique portfolio aligned with their client’s objectives, according to LPL.
UBS Launches 4th Future of Finance Challenge
UBS kicked off its fourth Future of Finance Challenge, an open competition for fintech startups and tech entrepreneurs around the globe. It has been held every other year since 2015.
UBS is searching for innovative and potentially disruptive technology products and solutions that it said Thursday “address these specific challenges to support the transformation” of the banking industry: sustainable banking, reimagining investing, app stores and platforms, and tech and cybersecurity.
The competition allows participants to present their products and solutions in a global competition with cash prizes and benefits with a total value of more than $400,000. The prize money for each challenge winner is $10,000. Noncash benefits include more than 120 hours of dedicated coaching by UBS experts and mentors, along with unique access to UBS experts and decision-makers, it said.
This year, UBS is also launching a Female Founder Award that it said was designed to encourage female entrepreneurs to participate in the challenge. Every entrant with a female executive board member or founder is eligible to win this additional prize, also worth $10,000.
Competition winners will get a chance to receive UBS’ support in “further commercializing and scaling their products and technologies by using the bank’s global presence, deep expertise in banking and its ecosystem of innovation partners,” it said. Since 2015, about 50% of finalists have received additional funding after the competition, some with significant funding rounds.
The competition is delivered in collaboration with Anthemis, Deloitte and Microsoft for Startups. The deadline for submissions is Aug. 6.
J.P. Morgan to Buy OpenInvest
J.P. Morgan entered into an agreement to acquire OpenInvest, a fintech firm that helps financial professionals customize and report on values-based investments.
OpenInvest will retain its own brand and be integrated into the J.P. Morgan Private Bank and Wealth Management client offerings. The purchase price and other terms of the deal, expected to close in the third quarter, were not disclosed.
Backed by capital from Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, QED and others, OpenInvest was founded in 2015 with a main focus on helping advisors unlock the true impact of their clients’ investments.
“OpenInvest will be a powerful resource for our advisors to use in helping clients personalize their investments,” according to Michael Camacho, CEO of J.P. Morgan Wealth Management Solutions.
The news follows J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s announcement late last year that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire fintech 55ip, which makes tools that let financial advisors deliver tax-smart investment strategies to clients. That news came less than two months after the companies said they had teamed up to give advisors the ability to easily and efficiently transition clients into JPMorgan model portfolios using 55ip’s automated tax technology.
“Over time, J.P. Morgan will leverage OpenInvest’s ESG capabilities with 55ip’s tax-smart investment strategies to deliver customized solutions to Private Bank and Wealth Management clients that are values-aligned and tax-efficient,” J.P. Morgan said.
Riskalyze Adds Best Interest Proposal Assessment
Riskalyze announced the addition of the Best Interest Proposal Assessment feature that it said Wednesday will “equip compliance teams and advisors with the documentation needed to prove best interest for client rollovers as financial advisors prepare for upcoming regulations.”
As more compliance standards and requirements keep coming from the U.S. Department of Labor and Securities and Exchange Commission, BIPA was developed to help advisors propose portfolios that best match their clients’ needs, document the source of funds, and, if needed, complete a rollover assessment, Riskalyze said.
The assessment can be enabled on Riskalyze Enterprise Select or Riskalyze Enterprise Elite customer accounts and allows clients and advisors to document the specifics on qualified account rollovers for 401(k)s, 403(b)s and more, it said.
By using BIPA, advisors can archive proposals and rollover assessments and deliver those results in PDF or printed reports, Riskalyze added.
Seismic Achieves Milestone
Seismic said Wednesday it surpassed $200 million in its annual revenue run rate and grew active users 45% over the prior year.
The company, which provides sales enablement technology to some of the largest U.S. asset and wealth management firms, as well as leaders in banking and other key sectors, finished its best first quarter to date, adding more than 50 new customers, it said.
In Europe and Asia-Pacific, Seismic recorded 182% year-over-year sales growth and recently named Heather Cook as vice president of APAC to head its expansion in Australia, New Zealand and other Asian markets. The company also filled key executive positions over the past year, including its first chief product officer, and boosted global headcount by 200 for a total of more than 1,000 employees globally.
In September 2020, Seismic raised $92 million in a Series F funding round for a total of $270 million raised to date. In December, the company acquired Grapevine6, a social sales engagement solution now known as Seismic LiveSocial.
AdvisorPeak Appoints Chief Strategy Officer
AdvisorPeak has appointed Mark Hollingsworth its chief strategy officer, a newly created senior management role at the company.
He also joined the company’s board of directors in March, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Hollingsworth brings over 35 years of experience in investment management and financial services. He has held numerous industry positions, including founder and CEO of NEXT Financial Group, a national independent broker-dealer and RIA he grew from 2 to over 1,200 employees, and various executive positions in wealthtech firms including Riskalyze and FinMason.
AdvisorPeak’s trading and rebalancing platform currently serves more than 1,000 financial advisors, it said.
PFI Advisors Launches New Digital Consulting Platform
PFI Advisors launched The COO Society, a new digital consulting platform it said was designed to “provide RIAs of all sizes the resources they need to achieve their strategic growth goals while maintaining and improving the high level of service their clients have come to expect from them.”
By promoting and educating professional managers across the sector, The COO Society will “enable firms to grow and sustain profitability by allowing RIA owners to focus on high-level strategy, while empowering their teams to execute that strategy by leveraging both people and technology,” according to PFI.
The new service will be available to all RIAs, who will be able to leverage the industry training on their own schedules, from the comfort of their homes or offices, PFI said.
The new platform focuses on three multi-course “learning paths”: technology, human resources and business administration, which PFI said serve as valuable training for anyone from a new client service associate to a veteran COO.
PFI offers a wide variety of services supporting RIA owners and their operations professionals on an individual basis. Since launching in 2015, PFI it has worked closely with operations professionals at 65 RIAs collectively managing more than $230 billion in assets to help them manage their growth, the company said.