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I’m here is sunny Chicago, enjoying the unusually nice weather, deep dish pizza and Goose Island beer, while attending the Envestnet Advisor Summit 2015.  This is a quick overview of some of the key information presented during the first day of conference.

Follow us on Twitter to get live updates from the next two days of speakers, sessions and panels.  Keynote speaker on Friday will be Mike Krzyzewski, men’s basketball coach, Duke University, who recently won his 5th NCAA championship.

Overview of ENV 2 Integrations

Don Bart, VP Product Management, Envestnet, reviewed the latest updates to their functionality for exchanging data with third party software programs including financial planning, CRM and custodians.

Currently, the data exchange with all financial planning tools and ENV2 requires manual interaction. Namely, file imports or clicking individual clients to move their information between applications.  In their upcoming release in August, Envestnet plans to reduce the number of clicks required for advisors to connect data between eMoney and ENV2. (See FinPlan Shootout: eMoney Advisor versus MoneyGuidePro)

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Envestnet planning tighter integration w/ @eMoneyAdvisor for proposals & reports #ENVSummit

They are also working to provide what Bart called on-demand client account importing from ENV2 to MGP.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Envestnet working on API on demand client account import from ENV2 to @MoneyGuidePro #ENVSummit

The third financial planning software that Bart mentioned was Finance Logix.  I noted that the level of connectivity seemed minimal when compared to the other two, much larger players in the space.  But after yesterday’s announcement that Envestnet is acquiring Finance Logix in a deal worth around $32 million, I would expect much tighter integration to be delivered in the next 12-18 months. (See Which Financial Planning Software is Right For You?)

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Envestnet acquires #financialplanning software vendor @financelogix #ENVSummit

This part was a bit confusing.  Of course, ENV2 supports multiple custodians already, but Envestnet is planning additional connectivity for useability, exchanging client data, account alerts, reports, and intra-day balances positions transfers, according to Bart.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Envestnet to offer enhanced integration by year-end w/ @TDA4advisors @CharlesSchwab @FidelityAdvisor #ENVSummit

Envestnet built a very useful mobile app for this event.  Having attended many conferences and tried a lot of conference apps, this one was definitely the best design and functionality I have seen.  The online polling worked very well and they used it to gather some statistics from the attendees.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Envestnet #ENVSummit #financialplanning users breakdown: 39% @eMoneyAdvisor 31% @MoneyGuidePro 23% Other

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

ENVSummit attendees favorite custodian: 46% @CharlesSchwab 23% @FidelityAdvisor 15% @TDA4advisors 15% @Pershing


Welcome Address from the CEO

Jud Bergman, Envestnet’s Chairman and CEO used his presentation to gave us a history lesson on an entrepreneur named James Hill, who built a railroad network from St. Paul, Minnesota to Seattle, Washington in the late 1800’s.  Hill only had a ninth grade education, yet built an empire that spanned half the country and was worth over $60 million (around $1.7 billion in 2014 dollars).

Jamie Green on Twitter

At #ENVSummit Jud Bergman uses challenges of transcontinental railroad building as metaphor for robo advisors

Bergman also related the tremendous benefits that a transcontinental railroad provided to the US economy since it allows raw materials to be delivered to industries and for finished goods to then be delivered to consumers.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

The value of Envestnet’s network is proportional to square of number of connected users -JudBergman #ENVSummit

Envestnet’s research has shown that advisors can provide 300 bps of added value to client portfolio performance.  This can be accomplished if the advisor delivers services such as financial planning, asset selection and allocation, investment selection, rebalancing and tax management (the biggest contributor at 100 bps).

Gavin Spitzner on Twitter

ENVSummit CEO Bergman talks about 3% value add of Capital Sigma…Fin planning, asset allocation, beyond beta…

Their acquisition of Placemark Investments last year more than doubled their UMA assets and added to their already massive number of money managers on their platform.  (See Envestnet buys UMA Experts Placemark Investments for $66 Million)

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Envestnet is now largest non-wirehouse #UMA provider -JudBergman #ENVSummit

Another reason why Envestnet bought Upside Advisors. (See Why Demographic Differences Define How Advisors Should Talk to Clients)

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

77% of HNW Millennials do most or all of #wealthmanagement business digitally -JudBergman #ENVSummit

Jamie Green on Twitter

Jud Bergman at #ENVSummit to advisors: Envestnet will help you ‘bridge the digital divide’


Market Outlook Panel

Moderator: Ron Insana, CNBC

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Technology is one of the most attractive sectors in valuation terms -HeidiRichardson @BlackRock #ENVSummit

Bernice Napach on Twitter

Zach Karabell at #ENVSummit: more risk in safety (read: bonds); more safety in risk (read: stocks) #ENVEngage

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

VIX low = risk not priced into market = small news could increase volatility -HeidiRichardson @BlackRock #ENVSummit

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Can Chinese government engineer transition to consumer driven economy? @zacharykarabell #ENVSummit

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Higher interest rates = economic growth = not bad for REITs in long run -LarryAdams #ENVSummit @Deutsche_EN

ETF Model Solutions® on Twitter

1 million new brokerage accounts being opened each week in China”- Ron Insana. #ENVSummit

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Now is the time to get into international hedged investments -LarryAdams #ENVSummit @Deutsche_EN

Envestnet Buys Finance Logix

Right in the middle of the presentation by Dr. Brian Green (below), I received an email from Envestnet’s PR firm that they had acquired the financial planning vendor, Finance Logix.  If you have a minute, check out this well-written analysis of the deal by Michael Kitces.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Envestnet acquires #financialplanning software vendor @financelogix #ENVSummit

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Envestnet will integrate @financelogix into @tamaracinc client portal -StuartDePina #ENVSummit

The Drive to Innovate: Stories from the Frontiers of Discovery

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Brian Greene, Professor of Physics and Mathematics, Columbia University

Envestnet on Twitter

If you’re willing to press into the unknown & let math guide you, you come to spectacular conclusions.” #ENVSummit

Samantha Hausler on Twitter

Einstein thought, “ask the questions a 5 year old would ask”. @bgreene at #ENVSummit

FINTECHNA on Twitter

RT Catametrics: Dr.Greene talk- path of physics innovation @ #ENVSummit progress by standing on shoulder of giants-true in #fintech 2 pic.t…

Tamarac Advisor Xi Keynote Address

Speaker: Stuart DePina, Group President, Envestnet | Tamarac

Michael Kossman on Twitter

ENVSummit Fantastic vision but can they really pull it off? Integrating platforms and making it work is TOUGH.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

By 2020, 2/3 of HNW investors will add a digital investment component -StuartDePina #ENVSummit

Ryan Neal, a reporter for WealthManagement.com, for some reason, decided to pick a Twitter fight about advisor technology with Michael Kitces, publisher of the blog Nerd’s Eye View and one of the industry’s leading experts on financial planning and advisor technology.  Not a great idea.  Without reproducing the entire conversation, let’s just say that Kitces schooled him.

Ryan W. Neal on Twitter

DePina asks, “does anyone in this room NOT want this functionality?” #ENVSummit

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Tamarac has 800 clients, 4,000 advisors, 1.1 million accounts, $500 billion in AUA -StuartDePina #ENVSummit

Everyone seemed to like the pictures I chose to go along with my tweets.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Advisors must balance profitability of different client relationships vs #roboadvisors -StuartDePina #ENVSummit

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Envestnet will extend functionality for clients to run automated advice solutions -StuartDePina #ENVSummit

MichaelKitces on Twitter

@ryanWneal Vanguard NOT a robo-advisor. They’re human advice platform, happen to meet w/ clients virtually. Like many other RIAs. #ENVSummit

Ron Fiske mentioned that a suggestion was made after last year’s summit to include more technology partners.  So Envestnet built a technology pavilion area just to showcase them.

Envestnet on Twitter

ENVSummit #ENVEngage at the Pavilion.

I didn’t get a limo ride to dinner, but it looks like some clients were getting the royal treatment.

Envestnet on Twitter

Riding in style to the #QP dinner. #ENVSummit

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