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  1. Analysis
May 14, 2018

Technology Roundup from April 2018 PBI issue

By Ronan McCaughey

PBI’s monthly summary of the latest developments in wealth management technology and fintech innovation.

UIT Investing introduces dedicated unit investment trust research platform

llinois-based investment adviser UIT Investing has unveiled its first unit investment trust (UIT) research platform to offer detailed research reports on UIT strategies for investment professionals. The platform aims to serve financial advisers, investment advisers, research analysts, portfolio managers and individual investors, offering them research reports in return for a subscription.

The reports will highlight each trust’s investment objective and security selection strategy, as well as the assets within the trust. These factors will be rated for performance, risk and expense over periods of three, five and 10 years.

UIT Investing co-founder and CEO Randy Watts said: “UITs are an underutilised investment product that don’t receive the exposure and attention that other packaged products like mutual funds, closed-end funds, and exchange traded funds get. “Nonetheless, the UIT industry is a multibillion dollar asset industry, and numerous advisers who direct their client’s assets into these investments need a place to quickly and easily retrieve detailed UIT information and ratings.”

Subscribed clients will not be charged for access to basic UIT information, including a trust’s description and classification, and its investment objectives.

However, to view detailed multi-page reports and the proprietary ratings of each UIT, clients will have to pay a subscription fee. “Our ratings are driven by hard data. Numbers don’t lie and that’s why we take a quantitative approach to our research. “Sponsor fact sheets and offering documents typically include a listing and weighting of all trust securities, but our ratings are what make our research invaluable to UIT investors,” Watts added.

SEI Private Wealth Management unveils new features to its tech platform

US-based SEI Private Wealth Management has added technological features to the dashboard of its technology platform, in an aim to enable HNW individuals to better organise their wealth.

The business has added three features to its client dashboard: Cash-Flow Suite, a wealth aggregation feature, and MyDocVault. SEI Private Wealth Management MD Michael Farrell said: “The traditional approach lacks an in-depth understanding of financial outcomes, as well as co-ordination between advisors, and this can leave clients dissatisfied.”

MyDocVault uses automated workflows to reduce paperwork and keep documentation organised. According to SEI Private Wealth Management: “Clients can view all pertinent documents and determine what they’re missing, as well as invite their third-party experts to upload applicable paperwork on their behalf.”

The Cash-Flow Suite simplifies real-time data, enabling clients to assign cash flows to multiple goals, including lifestyle and philanthropy. Clients can then compare performance against forecast financial targets. The Cash-Flow Suite, which operates within the business’s dashboard, aims to provide insights into clients’ incomes and expenses.

SEI Wealth Management said this feature provides “high-level and categorised information for any time period”. Jeff Ladouceur, SEI Private Wealth MD for client advice and solutions said: “We work very closely with each client through our discovery process to determine and plan for unique financial objectives. “The cash-flow tool enables clients to interact with their wealth and understand how inflows relative to expenses may be impacting their overall investment strategy.”

Northern Trust bolsters private equity audit through blockchain

US asset management firm Northern Trust has partnered with PwC to offer audit businesses quick access to private-equity fund data on its Blockchain platform. The move will allow audit firms to run their own blockchain nodes, gaining access to data required for real-time audits.

Audit firms leveraging blockchain will receive a “golden copy” of the fund data and will have the option of transferring the data into existing audit applications or developing new tools to make audits directly from blockchain.

Northern Trust president of corporate and institutional services Pete Cherecwich said: “By expanding our private equity blockchain ecosystem to the audit community, Northern Trust has enabled audit transactions to be recorded on a blockchain in real time. “This will result in direct efficiencies to both the audit firms and Northern Trust, and provide investors with a more timely and valued assurance product.”

The asset manager teamed up with technology giant IBM in February 2017 to develop the blockchain solution, which is based on the open-source Linux Foundation Hyperledger Fabric.

Finantix acquires Asian fintech smartfolios

Finantix, a global provider of enterprise solutions in the areas of wealthtech, regtech and insurtech, has acquired smartfolios, an Asian business that creates quantitativeenabled investment tools that aim to support all the key stages of the digital advisory value chain.

Finantix said the acquisition will prompt it to combine its enterprise-grade technology and its recent implementation of AI with smartfolios quantitative analysis solutions. Finantix and smartfolios will apply quantitative analysis to provide an engine that caters to a number of investment processes.

These processes include strategy building, robo-personalised portfolios, house view distribution, advanced analytics and continuous portfolio fine-tuning. The technology claims to support an extensive product taxonomy and provide realtime thematic-style analysis.

 

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