eMoney Advisor, the financial technology (fintech) company that was acquired by Fidelity Investments, enjoyed a year of record revenue growth in 2016 thanks in part to changes that it made to simplify and reduce the cost of some of its planning tools that are used by financial advisors.
Ed O'Brien, eMoney's chief executive, told InvestmentNews that the firm’s revenue is up just over 30% from this time last year and that this growth has been spurred by an across-the-board increase in the demand for financial advice that focuses on an overall financial plan. The company’s revenue has in fact increased by almost 60% since Fidelity invested in the firm in February of 2015, and it has picked up about 17,000 new users since that time. (For more, see: Top 5 Software Programs Used by Financial Advisors.)
“The advice industry in general is getting more serious about engaging clients with planning and leading with planning,” O’Brien said in the InvestmentNews article. “Our technology comes with everything an advisor needs to build a financial plan,” he added.
eMoney's Unbundled Platform for Advisors
The company unbundled its platform for advisors earlier this year and now allows them to choose between three different levels of service, ranging in price from $162 per month to $324 per month. The company is also planning to introduce a new set of digital planning tools in the first half of 2017, which will allow advisors to provide automated services for some of their clients. (For more, see: Top Tools Every Financial Advisor Needs.)
eMoney will also introduce a new set of lead generation programs for advisors that will allow them to conduct automated multimedia marketing campaigns with personalized messages and reporting for metrics. This program is currently being referred to as Advisor Branded Marketing, and it will allow advisors to get their brand out to the digital world in a fast and efficient manner.
Helping Advisors With the Fiduciary Rule
eMoney has also rolled out a complete framework for advisors designed to help them become compliant with the new fiduciary rule that was introduced by the Department of Labor (DOL) earlier this year. The rule officially goes into effect on April 10 and many advisors still need to understand their new roles as fiduciaries. The program is broken down into four modules: data gathering, goal development, present recommendations, and monitoring and evaluation. The modules contain the following elements:
- Online account aggregation
- Automated client discovery workflow
- Track client and advisor-made changes
- Comprehensive event logs
- A suite of advanced and basic planning tools
- Client acknowledgments of key interactions
- Automatically log and archive advice
- Templated presentations for any scenario
- Streamlined compliance review/approval of presentations
- Custom report structures, disclaimers, and disclosures
Monitor and Reevaluate
- Advanced business analytics with DOL-specific filters
- Email alerts and notifications of outlier events
- Best interest facts workflow
eMoney also has another program called Advisor Analytics, which allows advisors to create more than 25 charts that can help them to break down their client data, business activities, and other vital information that can help them to run their practices more efficiently. The company intends to provide comprehensive turnkey services that advisors can use to grow their business and manage money in a convenient and scalable manner.
The Bottom Line
2016 was a great year for eMoney, as it added nearly 17,000 new users and rolled out new features for financial advisors. Advisors who use this service can expect to perform their duties in a more streamlined fashion and uncover new elements of data that can help them grow their practice and comply with the fiduciary rule.