The projected exodus has begun. Dani Fava, former Director of Institutional Innovation at TD Ameritrade, left the merging custodian this week for a new position at Envestnet. She will now be in charge of strategic development at the growing financial technology firm.
Industry insiders have been waiting for movement from TD Ameritrade since their merger with Charles Schwab was officially sanctioned by the DOJ in June. According to inside sources, the “restructuring” Schwab has announced will result in multiple layoffs.
Fava is a former VP of Product Management at Citi and a former Senior Product Manager at Fiserv. In her role at TD Ameritrade, she worked on digital strategies, automated rebalancing, and trading technology. She helped to implement iRebal, TD’s inhouse rebalancing solution.
“I’ve joined the team at Envestnet!” Dani exclaimed on her Linked In page yesterday. “Like me, they’re committed to innovation and financial wellness for all. I’m excited to drive this vision forward and I’m committed to staying engaged with the fintech community.”
The new position was initially presented to Fava at the T3 Advisor Conference in February. An accomplished speaker, she had just presented at the conference when she was approached by Envestnet CEO Bill Crager. They were looking for a trend spotter and Dani was their top choice.
“Since our establishment twenty years ago, Envestnet has helped advisors stay one step ahead of the ever-evolving wealth management industry,” Crager stated after the hire. “Dani will help drive advisor and client financial wellness by responding proactively to industry trends.”
This is the second major hire by Envestnet this year. The first was Rich Aneser, a former CMO at Lincoln Financial and former Managing Director at UBS. His new title is “Head of Strategy and Client Development” at Envestnet. Dani Fava will be reporting directly to him.
Orion Overhauls Client Portal in Response to Covid-19 Demands
Meanwhile, Envestnet’s closest competitor has certainly not been sitting on their laurels. Orion Advisor Tech, using technology from their newest acquisition Advizr and onboarding from Apex Clearing, launched a revamped client portal for advisors this week.
“The improved client portal launch followed a demand spike among advisors’ clients for online access to their financial information,” stated Hussain Zaidi, chief strategy officer at Orion. “We’ve already seen a twenty percent increase in portal logins this year.”
The combination of Advizr’s financial planning, Orion reporting, and Apex Clearing’s onboarding and data connections is the closest match to Envestnet’s Money Guide Pro, Tamarac, Yodlee offering. Fidelity’s eMoney merger with inhouse reporting is a distant third.
Greg O’Gara, a senior analyst at the Aite Group, addressed the client portal situation in a February 2020 analysis of fintech applications. “The wealth management landscape is in transition,” he stated. “Covid-19 has turbocharged expectations around digital solutions.”
Envestnet and Orion cater primarily to the RIA and broker-dealer spaces, but both are positioning for entry into the banking sector. With higher demand for client portals and online engagement, will the Merrills and Morgans of the world embrace them? Only time will tell.