You don’t get added to the ranks of The Wealth Advisor’s exclusive list of America Best TAMPS for 2021 by doing things the same way as your peers. You have to offer a game-changing experience for either investors or advisors. FusionIQ does it for both.
By Jeff Briskin, Contributor – Wealth Advisor TAMP CHANNEL
If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught one critical lesson to the financial services industry, it’s that the younger, tech savvy consumers they need to win over are demanding a fully digital user experience.
They want to invest and bank anywhere using their mobile devices. They want to dabble in the markets on their own but also want an experienced guiding hand to manage their “save-it-for-later” money.
What they don’t want to do is sit in an office with an advisor, fill out pages of onboarding forms, wait weeks for their accounts to be open and funded and be given “view only” access to their portfolios using antiquated online portals that look like they were designed in the Y2K era.
Even the most traditional brick-and-mortar financial firms know their long-term survival depends on their ability to offer top-notch digital capabilities. But most don’t have the money or resources to build them on their own. And most of the TAMPs they’re using today can’t do it for them, either.
But FusionIQ can. Because it’s not a traditional TAMP.
CEO Mark Healy calls his firm a FintechTAMP. One that offers a dual-journey digital experience for advisors and their clients.
Investors can use its self-directed trading app to play the market, while also entrusting their advisors to manage their “serious money” using sophisticated asset allocation models and managers.
FusionIQ’s target audiences are financial firms that are struggling to offer these digital capabilities as an extension of their service models. Banks. Credit Unions. Independent advisory firms and wealth managers.
Healy understands their struggles. As an industry veteran, he played a leading role in building out the RIA platforms at Fidelity Investments and TD Bank.
He joined FusionIQ in 2020 to give firms a fighting chance against the robo-advisors and mobile trading apps that have been steadily winning assets from a new generation of digital-savvy investors.
Healy knew FusionIQ couldn’t simply offer a robo platform option for financial professionals. He needed to offer something that would give them a leg up on both the robos and Robinhoods of the world.
So, he set out to create something better. A white label digital platform financial firms could use to offer investors robust self-directed trading capabilities while also allowing advisors to manage their more significant asset pools. All within a single, integrated web or mobile app fully customized with the firm’s branding and content.
Healy believes FusionIQ can do everything trading apps and robos do right now—and a whole lot more.
“Most mainstream robos employ pretty vanilla models and limit investments to index funds and ETFs. FusionIQ offers the same automated investment and rebalancing features but with access to the more sophisticated investment options younger investors want.”
In both its self-directed and managed account apps, FusionIQ lets clients invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs as well as options, crypto currencies, synthetic ETFs, targeted fixed income portfolios, privatized securities and other alternative investments normally reserved for high-net-worth clients. Investors can also buy fractional shares of most publicly traded stocks.
So where do its TAMP capabilities come in?
Unlike traditional TAMPs, which are standalone entities that have to be integrated into the advisor’s technological infrastructure on one end and custodians on the other, FusionIQ’s TAMP capabilities are built into the platform itself.
Advisors can use any of FusionIQ’s proprietary models, import models from other managers, or build their own. And unlike many other TAMPs, these models can include both traditional and alternative investments.
Advisors can customize investor profile questionnaires by changing or adding their own questions and modify scoring to reflect their firm’s asset allocation methodology. They can even add questions that aren’t counted in the scoring, which is ideal for capturing demographic information and behavioral insights that lead to better client service experiences.
FusionIQ can also automate many common operational workflows. The front-end investor portal can capture, store and transmit required client information and digitally signed onboarding forms and agreements to custodians.
The back-end portal gives advisors control over their clients’ portfolios and can execute scheduled and one-time account rebalancing, fees and billing and other back-office tasks. An integrated content management system also lets advisors add and update colors, logos, and content that appear on their firm’s investor portal.
“In some firms, advisors and operations specialists now use FusionIQ to manage almost all of their practice, enabling these firms to get rid of many legacy operational systems while offering best-in-class service to their clients,” says Healy.
Every engagement is a consultative process where FusionIQ’s project management team spends a great deal of time understanding how the firm is doing business today and the operational and cultural challenges that are keeping it from maximizing efficiency and winning and retaining assets.
A typical conversion can be completed anywhere between four to eight weeks with minimal disruptions. FusionIQ provides extensive training as well as marketing and client communication support.
FusionIQ currently has 40 clients, ranging from independent RIA firms to nationally known credit unions, with $1 billion in asset under management on their platform. In 2021, they currently have 28 conversions in the works, and are aiming to add between 75-100 new clients every year.
They’ve also recently entered the Canadian market, targeting investment advisers who want to offer ETFs to their clients.
Healy believes that one of FusionIQ’s competitive strengths is its ability to be much more to its clients than they expect.
“I can’t tell you how many times a firm comes to us asking about one piece of the FusionIQ solution and end up signing up for the entire suite.”
If you need to offer a better branded digital investment experience for your clients and prospects and don’t want to break the bank doing so, contact FusionIQ today.