Commonwealth Financial, MassMutual strike software deal

MassMutual will license Commonwealth's proprietary adviser software, Advisor360

Feb 13, 2019 @ 5:39 pm

By Bruce Kelly

Commonwealth Financial Network, a leading independent broker-dealer, said Wednesday that its new stand-alone technology company, Advisor360°, has entered into a licensing agreement with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. that will make Commonwealth's suite of software tools available to the insurance company's advisers, who are registered with the broker-dealer MML Investors Services.

The software tools include: a platform that integrates portfolio, trade, contact, document and wealth management in a single area; another platform that serves as a dashboard for streamlined practice-wide operations, work and analytics; and another that allows clients to see their complete financial picture.

Executives at Commonwealth, a privately held firm, routinely discuss the merits of their technology platform and the firm's investment in adviser-focused tech.

"This is a big first for us," said John Rooney, managing principal. "We're allowing MML to piggyback on our software to run a broker-dealer. It captures trading, compliance, all the stuff it takes to run a broker-dealer from a service point of view. We will talk to other broker-dealers [about the software] if there is market interest."

MML is essentially paying a license per seat for their advisers to use the software, he said.

"They are outsourcing a big part of their tech budget with Commonwealth," Mr. Rooney said. "They share the economies of scale, and it also frees up capital" for Commonwealth, he said, noting that the firm is also currently investing in a separately branded RIA for advisers looking to drop their securities licenses.

By leasing the software to MassMutual, Commonwealth also avoids providing a technology upgrade to a direct competitor. MassMutual advisers are typically much lower producers than those at Commonwealth and have a background in insurance sales. Commonwealth's advisers are much more traditional wealth managers and focus on fee-based money and wealth management.

In a press release, Commonwealth's CEO, Wayne Bloom, noted that Commonwealth and MassMutual will maintain their current, separate tech service desks.

"The agreement with MassMutual will enable us to accelerate the pace of our software development" to serve Commonwealth's advisers, Mr. Bloom said, according to the release.

At the end of 2017, Commonwealth Financial Network had 1,778 producing registered reps and advisers with $156 billion of client assets, according to InvestmentNews data. At that same time, MML reported 7,714 reps and advisers with $224.8 billion of assets.


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video


Female leaders highlighted as future of financial advice

InvestmentNews recognized 20 Women to Watch for their efforts to advance the financial advice industry.

Latest news & opinion

ESG options scarce in 401(k) plans

There's growing interest among plan participants, but reluctance to add funds that take into account environmental, social and governance factors persists.

Ameriprise getting ready to launch its bank

Firm's advisers will soon have access to lending products such as mortgages.

Genworth move could signal big shift in distribution of long-term-care insurance

Insurers may turn to direct-to-consumer sales only, bypassing brokers and insurance agents.

Morgan Stanley threatens to pull out of Nevada over state's fiduciary rule

Wirehouse says it would not be able to work there under state's current proposal.

Advisers see college admissions scandal as tip of the iceberg

Parents' conduct is described as 'disgusting' but not surprising given the current state of higher education.


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 It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist

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


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print