Why B2C Struggles in a B2B World

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17 November 2017
William Trout

Banks, brokerages and other incumbent wealth managers have struggled in their efforts to launch digita or "robo" advice propositions. While the largest firms have built platforms from the ground up, others have sought to pre-empt the painful construction process through acquisition or partnership.

Partnerships with formerly B2C robo advisors such as FutureAdvisor and Jemstep have yielded mixed results. Both these firms have struggled to get even a single institution live, despite support from their deep pocketed parent organizations Blackrock and Invesco. The problem is that direct to consumer propositions built off one data access platform were never designed to integrate with the multiple and overlapping systems characteristic of large institutions.

As I discuss in my upcoming report, Battle for the Bank: How Digital Investment Tech Is Reshaping Wealth Management, a new class of light footprint B2B platforms poses a threat to TAMPs and legacy technology providers like Envestnet. Firms like InvestCloud, Robust Wealth and Trizic offer a unified platform or stack built for an API rich digital era. In this case, the value add is the ability to greenlight multiple lines of business simultaneously, as well as to customize functionality and end user experience to meet the needs of complex institutions such as banks, brokerages and insurance companies.

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