Apex partners with Trizic to reach more advisers

The partnership is designed to make it faster for RIAs, broker-dealers and other enterprise firms to bring a customized robo-advice solution to market

Jan 12, 2018 @ 4:31 pm

By Ryan W. Neal

Apex Clearing is looking to expand its digital custody and clearing brand into the human adviser market though a new partnership with Trizic, a technology vendor that develops digital advice products for advisers.

Trizic, which counts FIS and John Hancock among its customers, says the partnership will make it faster for RIAs, broker-dealers and other enterprise firms to bring a customized robo-advice solution to market.

Trizic CEO Drew Sievers said Apex's suite of application programming interfaces (APIs) are more supportive than traditional custodians for advisers looking to build unique digital products. For example, Mr. Sievers said Apex allows for completely digital client onboarding, while other custodians are just adding e-signature capabilities that still require document shifting.

He added that with Apex, Trizic can offer enterprise firms simpler account opening and funding, and more efficient trade execution, portfolio management, performance reporting and billing.

"If you're a young, up-and-coming type firm … that's where something like Apex is attractive," Mr. Sievers said. "They do provide different kinds of connectivity."

(More: Digital investing will bring big changes in 2018)

The companies also see the partnership as a chance to grow awareness of each other's brands and collaborate on product distribution.

For Apex, which is perhaps best known for serving robo-advisers like Wealthfront (which cut ties with Apex in May to self-custody), partnerships with front-end technology vendors are a chance to grow among RIAs and broker-dealers.

Sam McIngvale, Apex's head of innovation, acknowledged that the company is not big enough to have the sales team and distribution capacity to break into the market on its own. His hope is that advisers using technology such as Trizic or InvestCloud will see Apex's APIs and cost — Apex doesn't have account minimums and or charge transaction fees — as a good fit for a subset of their business, especially as more firms look to service young investors and small accounts.

"Partnering with these groups gives us more reach into [the market] and also allows us to have a broad product set," Mr. McIngvale said. Trizic also works with banks and credit unions, another market Apex would like to expand into.

Joel Bruckenstein, the president of Technology Tools for Today, said Apex is facing a classic "chicken or the egg" problem. It must integrate technology companies to attract advisers, but technology companies don't want to spend resources on integration without knowing that it will reach advisers.

"I think Apex has some interesting technologies," he said. "I think they would be a welcome addition to the RIA custodial space, but in order to be competitive in the space, they need to partner with the leading providers of technology," Mr. Bruckenstein said. "If you're a small [technology] firm coming into the industry and you tap in TD [Ameritrade's] API, you don't have to do much and you immediately have exposure to TD clients."

One technology executive, who wished to remain anonymous, agreed that Apex's limited number of customers makes it less of a priority than other custodians, but is still exploring a partnership.

"It just takes more time for those us with a lot of customers to support," the executive said when asked why his company doesn't yet integrate with Apex. "But we're still excited about it."

Apex isn't the only small custodian looking at technology companies as a way to grow its market share without the resources or brand recognition of larger firms. Folio Institutional, for example, is growing by attracting a new generation of direct-to-consumer robo-advisers.

(More: Small custodians compete for advisers with niche needs)


What do you think?

View comments

Upcoming event

Nov 13


Top Advisory Firm Summit

Formerly known as the Best Practices Workshop, this new one-day conference will also include content from the Best Places to Work event!The Top Advisory Firm Summit will provide CEOs, COOs, CTOs, CMOs, and Managing Partners from the... Learn more

Most watched


Young professionals see lots of opportunity to reinvent the advice experience

Members of the 2019 InvestmentNews class of 40 Under 40 have strategies to overcome the challenges of being young in a mature industry.


Young advisers envision a radically different business in five years

Fintech and sustainable investing are two factors being watched closely by some of the 2019 class of InvestmentNews' 40 Under 40.

Latest news & opinion

Vermont establishes restitution fund for victims of investment fraud

Portion of settlements with financial perpetrators would supply the pool.

10 IBDs with the most variable annuity revenue

Although the popularity of VAs has declined in recent years, some independent broker-dealers still do a good business in them.

Target-date fund design may be wrong for retirees

Researchers suggest the funds don't adequately hedge against sequence-of-returns risk in retirement.

InvestmentNews' 2019 class of 40 Under 40

Our 40 Under 40 project, now in its sixth year, highlights young talent in the financial advice industry. These individuals illustrate the tremendous potential of those coming up in the profession. These stories will surprise, entertain, educate and inspire.

New Jersey fiduciary rule: Pressure leads to public hearing, comment deadline extension

Industry push results in chance to air grievances on July 17 and another month to present objections.


Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print