Envestnet Reveals New ‘Personal Financial Ecosystem’
Envestnet is building a new “personalfinancial ecosystem” that aims to educate consumers and help them betterconnect with financial professionals —while also improving the user experienceand data-sharing capacity of both advisors and consumers.
“The digital engagement model is notvery fulfilling in financial services today,”said Envestnet CEO Bill Crager in aninterview with Investment Advisor.
The ecosystem includes new Envestnettools, which should be available for advisors over the next few months, that aredesigned to serve as advisors’ “superpower to help them bring together theindividual’s or family’s financial picture,”Crager explained.
There also will be a planned consumerapp by year-end that is “like a rope that getsthrown out on the front of the boat thathelps people understand finance and thenbegin to find the financial advisor who’s onthe other end of” that rope, he said.
Separately, Envestnet’s MoneyGuide
‘Intelligent Financial Life’
recently launched MoneyGuideEngine, a
collection of its financial planning algo-
rithms now used by advisors, for any per-
sonal finance-based digital offerings.
“Essentially, we are now enabling firms to
integrate our tried and tested ‘calculation
brain,’ or the central API engine that makes
Envestnet | MoneyGuide tick, within their
own planning software offerings and prod-
ucts,” said Tony Leal, president of
MoneyGuide, in a statement.
“This means firms and advi-
sors can own the fun part of
creating the client planning
experience, and they can rely on
our award-winning APIs for the
boring, yet essential, math and
algorithms that connect the dots
of the financial plan.”
While Crager conceded that
Apple, Microsoft and other
tech giants may seek to play a
much bigger role in consum-
ers’ financial lives in the future,
Envestnet has a huge amount of finan-
cial data thanks to its Yodlee business,
along with the financial planning capabil-
ity it has with MoneyGuide and its ties
to $4.5 trillion of invested assets in the
insurance and credit markets, as well as
other areas it’s working on, giving it a
“pretty big footprint,” he explained.
Artificial intelligence will play a key rolein personalizing clients’ experiences withthe new Envestnet environment, Cragersaid in a recent white paper.
In addition to integrating financial
education initiatives to help consum-
ers achieve financial balance, Envestnet
will “deploy algorithms to reshape the
way consumers manage their finances,”
according to the white paper.
“It’s something I have been thinkingabout for a while” and “the time is necessary to really push towards this now,”Crager said.
The timing of the white paper andEnvestnet’s related moves was partlyinfluenced by the coronavirus pandemic,
its impacts, Crager’s own experience
and input he’s received from advisors,
he says. During the pandemic, “people
are spending more time thinking about”
financial issues, he explained. They “have
more time to ask questions, and they are
piecemealing together answers.”
Meanwhile, although “digital has accel-
erated during this period of time, some
really evident problems have accelerated
as well,” he stressed.
On one hand, “you have the wealth gap
just broadening very rapidly,” but you also
have a community that’s “served well and
will be served better by technology going
forward — the folks who have money,” he
said. However, “everybody else is left to
try to figure that out for themselves.”
The company’s “thesis is… that there
are consumer apps that Envestnet can
build that will go out into the greater
marketplace — meaning the consumer
marketplace — for consumers to educate,
understand and then ultimately [use] to
network and connect back to the advisors
who work with Envestnet,” he said.
Through the firm’s algorithms and
matching based on specific criteria, “We
can do a very good job of connecting
human beings to financial advisors if they
want one,” Crager added. —Jeff Berman
NEW THIS MONTH THINKADVISOR.COM TECHCENTER LIVE EVENTS WEB EXTRAS DIRECTORIES BLOGS
FOR ALL THIS AND MORE WEB EXCLUSIVE CONTENT PLEASE VISIT THINKADVISOR.COM
INVESTMENT ADVISOR (ISSN 1069-1731) is published monthly ALM Media, LLC, 4157 Olympic Blvd. Ste 225, Erlanger, KY 41018-3510. Periodical postage paid at Covington, KY and additional mailing offices. Subscription Rate is $79 per year.
POSTMASTER: Send all subscription orders, changes of address and correspondence to InvestmentAdvisor, PO Box 3136, Northbrook IL 60065. Allow four weeks completion of changes