- Schwab – 45%
- Fidelity NFS – 20%
- TD Ameritrade – 12%
- Pershing – 12%
- Others – 11%
Best Frenemies: Partnership with Salesforce
Tamarac announced Salesforce integration last year, which allowed advisors to open new accounts from Salesforce as well as automatically sync data between the two. They already partner with Salentica CRM, which was recently purchased by SS&C.
Of course, they have offered an integrated CRM solution, called Advisor CRM, for over seven years, which was built on Microsoft Dynamics. They chose Microsoft over Salesforce because of the former’s deeper support for custom development, at least at the time. That would be a more difficult choice today Salesforce’s AppExchange has become a development platform and third party app delivery channel rivaling Apple’s app store. (See Which CRM is Right for You? Envestnet|Tamarac’s Advisor CRM)
DePina explained that while their Advisor CRM offering is popular, many clients use other CRMs, including Salesforce, as their primary CRM. To respond to demands for a smoother overall client experience, Tamarac is rolling out a new app within the recently launched Salesforce Financial Services Cloud store that will allow for bidirectional integration. (See CRM Shootout: Redtail vs Salesforce FSC)
Tamarac has no choice except to support Salesforce users even as the CRM behemoth encroaches into their core RIA market with their Financial Services Cloud offering. While Salesforce has traditionally appealed more to larger organizations, they recently initiated an effort to appeal to smaller RIAs – the same audience that makes up bread-and-butter clients for Tamarac.
DePina explained that the shared audience actually makes Tamarac a good partner to Salesforce. “We have a proven track record for combining powerful portfolio management capabilities with the workflow automation of a CRM and our new Salesforce App will deliver tremendous value for our mutual RIA clients,” he insisted.
According to research firm Cerulli Associates, there were 532 independent RIA’s that managed $1 billion or more in 2016 and 34% of those firms were Tamarac clients. The Envestnet unit has managed to maintain this market share by continuing to win new deals at a rapid pace as the number of larger RIA’s has grown year-over-year (largely due to M&A activity).
More Options for Financial Planning
Since Envestnet’s acquisition of Finance Logix in 2015, subscribers have had access to a personal financial planning tool inside the suite. So when DePina shared the news that Tamarac has added integrations with MoneyGuidePro and eMoney Advisor to the offering, we were surprised. Won’t this move create a conflict with Finance Logix?
The answer is “No,” according to DePina. He explained that Tamarac is more interested in enhancing their user experience than limiting clients to using a proprietary system. “If you love another product, we want to make sure you can have a great experience while using our core products and leveraging others,” he declared. (See eMoney Advisor vs. MoneyGuidePro: Which is the Best Financial Planning Software?)
For eMoney Advisor, the integration is one-way only. User can pull account information, holdings and transactions daily from Advisor Xi into eMoney Advisor, but not the other way around. The integration with MoneyGuidePro is deeper: users are able to see planning data in Tamarac’s Advisor View, while end clients can access the same through the client portal.
Expanding APIs are a double-edged sword: they could build stronger bonds with existing clients or push them into the arms of competing offerings. Matt Stroh believes that expanded API support will strengthen their position in the market. “RIAs could use this to support their own proprietary applications – but frankly, the challenge of maintaining and integrating proprietary systems is one of the top reasons RIA’s replace them with our comprehensive platform,” he shared.
Tamarac Integration Partners List is Expanding
Industry opinions on full-stack platform capability as a strategic offering vary. Joel Bruckenstein, the founder of Technology Tools for Today, believes that ultimately, it’s a matter of personal choice for advisors. “There are some firms that are happier to put all their eggs in one basket if they are confident the firm they are working with is capable of providing them a good service across all applications. And some firms are more content to take either a best-of-breed approach or have a third party as their integrator.”
The last few years have shown that the FinTech coopetition trend is here to stay, touching everything from banking to wealth management. Building a business case for it is easy from the customer perspective: great technologies combined can add up to more than the sum of their parts. On the provider side, tech firms must be careful to balance offering options to clients with not becoming overly reliant on competitor technology for key pieces of infrastructure.