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Another jammed-packed day of advisor information at the Envestnet Advisor Summit 2015 from a very sunny Chicago.  It was 80 degrees outside yesterday, but for the 1,600 advisors attendees here, it was cool and comfortable as they soaked up the tips, instructions and best practices for Envestnet’s ever-growing suite of products and services.

Take a few minutes to read my fast recap from day 1 of the summit.

State of the Platform – Bill Crager

Envestnet’s president, Bill Crager, gave a well-research presentation that I’m calling the “State of the Platform” address.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

By 2020, 85% of world population will carry a cell phone with supercomputer-like power @ENVCrager #ENVSummit

I love statistics!  I can’t help it really.  I think a presentation at a conference that doesn’t provide at least one useful stat is missing an opportunity to make an impression on the audience.


This wasn’t an actual statistic.  It was Jim Patrick’s idea to show the power of the connectivity of the Envestnet platform by multiplying all of the numbers I mentioned above.  It’s quite a large number, and while technically it’s meaningless, philosophically you could use it to illustrate how far Envestnet’s has come since it was founded back in 2000.

Envestnet on Twitter

Metcalfe’s Law in action: Jim Patrick explores the value of thousands of network connections. #ENVSummit

The four legs of the Envestnet platform.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Envestnet’s platform is based on four portals: Advisor, Investor, Enterprise & Manager @ENVCrager #ENVSummit

I don’t care for the name very much, but Advisor Now, Envestnet’s white label digital advice offering, has the potential to become a standard for online wealth management.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Envestnet launches AdvisorNow – their white label #roboadvisor offering @ENVCrager #ENVSummit

I was quite interested in Envestnet’s purchase of financial planning software company Finance Logix.  Crager noted that his firm has embraced the concept of goals-based wealth management, so this move is a logical step in that direction.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Objective of @FinanceLogix acquisition is to integrate goals-based #wealthmanagement @ENVCrager #ENVSummit

Another in a long line of announcements from Envestnet this week.  ENVESTAT is a service that will leverage big data analysis from their platform to deliver weekly insights to advisors.  Interesting that they will distribute it via Crager’s twitter handle @ENVCrager rather than @ENVESTAT?

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

ENVESTAT – weekly insights to enhance #advisor practice @ENVCrager #ENVSummit

Gavin Spitzner on Twitter

ENV fortifies ability to integrate data/advice delivery thru Upside and FinanceLogix deals #ENVSummit #envintel

More statistics for the press to chomp on.  These results are impressive.  Although, I would want to see them compare to the median instead of the average, which can be skewed towards one end or the other.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Envestnet #advisors grew new net assets 17% vs 2% average @ENVCrager #ENVSummit

This result could be selection bias.  Maybe more advisors with good performance choose Envestnet?  What was their records before they became clients?  That would be more indicative of the benefits of the platform.  Of course, this number is much easier to calculate.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Envestnet #advisors increase assets from market performance by 9.5% vs 4% average @ENVCrager #ENVSummit

Envestnet wasn’t the only ones using the summit to make announcements.

Brinker Capital on Twitter

Brinker Capital Announces Destinations ETFh Investment Program at Envestnet 2015 #ENVSummit via @BusinessWire http://t.co/1ZiJkTzR9W

Michael Kitces produced an insightful analysis of Envestnet’s expanding empire of wealth management technology and services.

MichaelKitces on Twitter

Is Envestnet trying to build the Holy Grail with its @FinanceLogix acquisition? http://t.co/Y7vWLSoKKD #ENVSummit


Upside Advisor Overview

This acquisition will be the engine behind Envestnet’s Advisor Now offering.  Technology that can provide completely automated advice via the Internet for advisory firms to brand as their own.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

The @UpsideAdvisor planning process can be set to “full-auto” or “semi-auto” with advisor input #ENVSummit

Naturally, an online advisory platform can’t send paper documents to a client.  Everything has to be virtual.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

After client accepts proposed plan @UpsideAdvisor links to custodian w/ @DocuSign for paperless acct open #ENVSummit

Currently, Upside only works with assets custodied at TD Ameritrade.  That should change by the end of the year, as they work furiously to plug the Upside front end and middleware into Envestnet’s back end.  Then they will support the entire list of custodians.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Envestnet taking @UpsideAdvisor front end & middleware, plugging into back-end to access all custodians #ENVSummit

The folks at wealthmanagement.com wrote a good overview of the Advisor Now product.  Click the link in the tweet below to get to the article.

Ryan W. Neal on Twitter

A look at Advisor Now, the digital portal advice portal revealed by @ENVintel at #ENVSummit this week: http://t.co/ltsML61qSv


How to Prepare for a Client Meeting

One thing you will never hear an advisor say at the Envestnet conference: “Yeah, it’s nice, but there aren’t enough breakout sessions.”  If I was a better researcher, I would comb through the agenda and total up exactly how many breakout sessions there were.  I’m going to take a wild guess (which saves tons of time) and say there were 50-60 total.

This particular session demonstrated some of the almost 300 reports available for advisors to prepare for client meetings.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Reporting group function in ENV2 allows customizing client reports for multi-generational families #ENVSummit

One thing that every advisor hates is having their performance compared to a benchmark.  Except when they’re beating it, but that’s not too often, at least for most advisors.  So, any tools that they can use to demonstrate their value-added to clients is most appreciated.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

ENV2 Target Growth Report helps #advisors fight against direct comparison to a blended benchmark #ENVSummit

I couldn’t go to this session, but I heard it was good.

Envestnet on Twitter

Dr. Daniel Crosby (@incblot) presents ‘Purpose Driven Investing: Why Behavior Matters’ in the Buckingham Room, starting at 2pm. #ENVSummit


ENV2 Technology – PMC, Upside and Finance Logix

Was this the title of this session when the conference started?  If so, I completely missed it since they didn’t announce the FL acquisition until the middle of Day 1.

ETF Model Solutions® on Twitter

Millennials to inherit $41 trillion in next 40 years”. –Molly Pandya, Sr VP, Product Mgt, Envestnet. #ENVSummit

Ryan W. Neal on Twitter

100% growth in investor portal usage over last year. #ENVSummit

Just having an app is not enough, since everyone there’s one for almost everything.  Whatever service or product you offer, your digital experience has to stand out and delight your users, as Guy Kawasaki would say.

Bill Crager on Twitter

You must be better than an app, especially with millennials. Great session from Molly Pandya & Blake Wood #ENVSummit

Stuart DePina on Finance Logix

The Group President Envestnet | Tamarac, Stuart DePina, was kind enough to sit down with me for an interview about their acquisition of Finance Logix.

I wanted to know why they chose Finance Logix over the the other financial planning vendors out there.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Envestnet chose @FinanceLogix b/c architecture was best for integrating data into core engine -StuartDePina #ENVSummit

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Envestnet chose @FinanceLogix b/c of their strong goals-based reporting -StuartDePina #ENVSummit

I asked DePina what weighted their build vs buy decision more towards buy?  He said that they wanted to have more influence on how their data is used in key advisor workflows to ensure a meaningful/actionable experience for advisor.  If they can do this, it would be another way to keep their platform “sticky” and make it more difficult for advisors to switch to a competitor.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Envestnet chose @FinanceLogix b/c they want to better control how advisors consume data -StuartDePina #ENVSummit

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Envestnet chose @FinanceLogix to provide true holistic client views to #advisors -StuartDePina #ENVSummit

Social Media

Envestnet had giant monitors spread out that displayed a massive Twitter feed from their hashtags #ENVSummit and #ENVEngage.  I thought it was a fantastic way to make the social media experience more tangible.

Craig Iskowitz on Twitter

Awesome to see my tweets up on the social media display at #ENVSummit http://t.co/0lL0gDCHLi


Envestnet Advisor Summit 2015 – Entertainment

Unfortunately, I was too tired last night to go to Buddy Guy’s and hear the great Mavis Staples sing the blues.  Oh well!  A blogger’s work is never done…

Dana Taormina on Twitter

Mavis Staples at Buddy Guy’s Legends #ENVSummit #ENVEngage @ENVintel

Don’t forget to read my fast recap from day 1 of the summit.

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