Envestnet launches tools to help improve adviser decisions

Originally seen in InvestmentNews

New analytics to give advisers ability to compare their businesses to others

Envestnet kicked off its annual Advisor Summit on Wednesday with Advisor Analytics, a new suite of tools the technology firm said will help advisers make better, data-driven decisions. Using data from Envestnet Yodlee, independent broker-dealers and registered investment advisers can use Advisor Analytics to compare their own book of business, risk ratings, fees and account performance against peer benchmarks. Envestnet, which announced last month that it is buying MoneyGuide financial planning software, plans to connect fee and performance comparisons with third-party data so it can boost advisers' other processes, such as financial planning. For instance, a partnership with LifeYield will provide insight on how to make investment portfolios more tax efficient. Enterprise firms can also use Advisor Analytics to see a dashboard of practice-level data on the firms they support. One other unique feature is RIA Pulse, a weekly report of curated data on the advice market, such as RIA activity, product trends and season market shifts. "What we're doing is, just like Dow Jones is a proxy for the markets … with 100,000 advisers we have a good proxy for the RIA market," said Frank Coates, executive managing director of Envestnet | Yodlee. Advisor Analytics builds upon some of the artificial intelligence technology Yodlee demonstrated at last year's Advisor Summit, which the company now calls the Envestnet Intelligence platform. Most recognizable here is the natural language processing technology that lets advisers simply ask questions about their business — using a desktop computer, mobile device or voice command — and receive a direct answer in return. Questions such as "Which clients are most at risk of firing me?" or "How could I improve my portfolio performance?" Mr. Coates said. The system will tailor answers to the user, so advisers, money managers, risk managers or compliance officers will get information most relevant to them. Advisor Analytics will use machine learning to improve the number of questions it can answer and the quality of answers given over time, Mr. Coates said. "As advisers ask more and more questions, our systems gets smarter about what are the most important questions to advisers," he said. "We may find out that 'what are my growth rates of contributions?' might be the most important thing of what advisers focus on." The whole point is to make it easier for advisers to wrap their hands around the immense data flowing through Yodlee's platform, and make it easy to use. This will ultimately improve advisor productivity, compliance and client outcomes, said Bill Crager, chief executive of Envestnet Wealth Solutions, in a statement. "Envestnet Advisor Analytics represents our belief that the future of advice will be powered by the intelligent use of data," Mr. Crager said. "We believe these tools will provide essential support to advisers in how they manage and grow their businesses and also how they intelligently engage their clients."