Fintechs feature DOL fiduciary tools at T3

80-plus firms ready to help advisers decide where to spend their tech budgets

Feb 14, 2017 @ 12:14 pm

By Liz Skinner

Many new tools that fintech firms are unveiling as the T3 conference opens this week are aimed at helping financial advisers meet requirements of the Labor Department's fiduciary rule, which was due to take effect in less than two months but is now in limbo as President Donald J. Trump delayed implementation by six months.

FinMason said Tuesday that its new risk tolerance and compliance tools will generate a “bright-line” agreement on risk from clients and screens portfolios each night to detect issues before they become problems.

Separately, Trust Builders said it has added an annuity illustration into its retirement analysis software, as well as advice documentation tools, which are key as the fiduciary rule requires advisers to provide retirement advice in the best interest of clients and they'll need to prove they did so if clients seek legal action.

Even though Mr. Trump ordered a 180-day delay earlier this month, many believe the industry is likely to receive a fiduciary rule at some point, if not from DOL then from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was given authority to set such a rule.

(More: How fintech aims to make DOL fiduciary rule manageable)

FinMason, Trust Builders and about 80 more firms at the Technology Tools for Today conference in Garden Grove, Calif., will demo their financial planning, portfolio management, client relationship management, robo-advice and other fintech tools for the advice industry Wednesday through Friday.

More than a dozen firms are new to the fintech showcase this year, including RobustWealth, a digital advice platform advisory firms can use with clients, and YoureFolio, an estate planning tool that makes use of avatars.

“This year advisers will see some emerging technologies like voice recognition and avatars, and even augmented reality, have found their way into these new products,” said Joel Bruckenstein, financial technology consultant and conference organizer.

Many of the 400 advisers expected at the conference will be looking to upgrade their technologies, as adviser tech spending is expected to increase this year.

Advisers are most likely to invest in technologies that improve workflows and efficiencies at their firms and in client-facing tools like automated advice and client portals, according to the 2017 InvestmentNews adviser technology benchmarking study.

Technology focused on helping financial advisers improve compliance is set for the greatest bump in use this year, with 39% of advisers increasing spending in this area, compared to 29% of advisers in the adviser survey two years ago, said Mark Bruno, InvestmentNews assistant publisher, on Tuesday. About 292 advisers participated in this year's survey.

Many firms also are emphasizing investments in emerging technology, he said.

(More: 10 ways to embrace trends radically changing financial advice industry)

In an announcement on Tuesday, AdvisoryWorld said it’s created new lead generation software that turns visitors to an adviser’s website into a business lead.

Also on Tuesday, Laserfiche said TD Ameritrade Institutional has selected the firm's cloud-based technology to be the new document management system for its Veo One adviser platform.

On Wednesday, Fidelity's eMoney is set to announce new innovations for its financial planning software and Riskalyze is expected to unveil a robo-related enhancement.

Eric Clarke, Orion Advisor's chief executive, will provide details about the firm's new Eclipse feature on Thursday. The firm's been teasing its news on its website and on Twitter at #WhatIsEclipse.

Other interesting highlights that should play well on social media include an 80s party Wednesday night and a craft beer tasting over lunch break on Thursday.


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