I recently attended the first ever AdvisorEngine Conference, and I was impressed. This event presented several challenges for the AdvisorEngine management, and to my mind they exceeded expectations.
One challenge management faced was converting what was formerly a Junxure user’s conference into an AdvisorEngine event. They needed to maintain the high level of technical Junxure training for those who attended primarily for Junxure content while providing plenty of education about the broader AdvisorEngine offering to an audience that, for the most part, had little understanding of the broader AdvisorEngine product line. In addition, they wanted to attract the leaders of RIA firms to share their vision of the future. Since this was their coming out party in a sense, they only had one chance to make a good first impression, and they nailed it. They managed to maintain the elements that Junxure users have come to love, while introducing attendees for the first time to a detailed description of AdvisorEngine’s capabilities and their vision for the future.
One key takeaway that resonated with me is that AdvisorEngine CEO Rich Cancro is trying to create a new kind of wealth management platform, which he calls “a financial experience company.” The vision of AdvisorEngine is, according to Cancro, “to design financial experiences that are personal, scientific, and beautiful.” The goal is to help advisory firms differentiate themselves from traditional wealth management firms through data, superior design and technology. They do this by concentrating on three key areas: the advisor experience, the business operations experience and the client experience.
Through both internal development and acquisitions, AdvisorEngine has quietly been building an open, robust technology platform powered by smart automation.
Kredible, a social/digital marketing tool they acquired, helps firms gauge the effectiveness of their online presence and then provides actionable steps to improve it. It is a tool from which almost every advisor can benefit.
AdvisorEngine offers a robust risk assessment tool, digital client onboarding, a top-notch client portal, a document vault, account aggregation, a goals-based planning tool, business intelligence, and a compliance log.
For investment management, they offer portfolio construction tools, analytics, institutional quality model portfolios, performance reporting, and they are about to roll out a robust rebalancing solution.
Their new fee billing solution is noteworthy. It offers a centralized source of control over the set-up, maintenance and collection of fees, with the power to support the most non-routine, complex billing arrangements. The solution is also highly configurable to allow for householding, flat and tiered billing schedules, billing in advance and arrears, discounting, advisor fee sharing, and off-cycle billing to fit any firm’s unique needs. In addition, the billing engine includes business intelligence features that are designed to deliver improved forecasting, planning and decision-making across the firm.
AdvisorEngine now offers enhanced reporting tools to take the guesswork out of revenue, providing deeper insights into a firm’s revenue trends, cash shortages, exceptions, advisor and firm-level payouts, unbilled assets, and complete calculation details.
SIGNIFICANT STRIDES WITH JUNXURE CLOUD …
Of course, AdvisorEngine also offers Junxure, a popular CRM solution. In the relatively short time that AdvisorEngine has owned Junxure, they have made significant strides in improving the functionality and the usability of Junxure Cloud, and we should see additional enhancements in the months ahead.
AND FREE VALUE-ADDED SERVICES
They are also providing some free value-added services to existing Junxure users. For example, AdvisorEngine just announced that all Junxure users will have access to a Portfolio Analysis Tool powered by WisdomTree. The tool provides the following functionality:
- Portfolio Optimization: This tool offers options for how advisors can adjust the portfolio allocation based on investing metrics, including income, performance, risk, risk-adjusted returns and fees.
- Portfolio Comparison: Advisors can compare two self-created portfolio allocations to assist in identifying which portfolio will potentially meet their clients’ specific investment objectives.
- Reporting:Users can easily export white-labeled client-facing or advisor-facing reporting documents. The client-facing reports allow advisors to share select portfolio performance information, while the advisor-facing reports are more comprehensive, including all data from the portfolio analysis.
- Stress Testing:Advisors can conduct stress tests to address client concerns and compare hypothetical returns as a result of up-market or down-market conditions. To run these tests, advisors can utilize predetermined scenarios, like the financial crisis or the Federal rate hike, or they can also customize market conditions on the platform that could have an impact on the portfolio.
ON THE RIGHT PATH
While I have been very impressed with the progress that AdvisorEngine has made building out their platform, I am even more impressed with their approach. They are not trying to simply replicate what other similar firms are doing; they really seem to understand the transformation that is taking place in our industry, and to build for the firm of the future, not the firm of the past. While that journey is far from over, AdvisorEngine appears to be on the right path.
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