Addepar, a fast-growing financial-technology provider, has reached a deal with RBC Wealth Management-U.S. to deploy its platform in its largest full-firm integration to date.
Addepar’s technology aims to provide advisors and their clients with a holistic picture of their assets, knitting together multiple data sources and capturing holdings like alternative investments or shares in private companies that many traditional software programs don’t capture.
Eric Poirier, Addepar’s CEO, explained that the company’s roots date back to the confusion and anxiety that followed the market meltdown more than a decade ago.
“We started the company way back in 2009, really in the wake of the financial crisis where the problem that a lot of people found out the hard way back in 2007 and ’08 is they didn’t have a single place to go to answer questions like, ‘What do I own? Where do I own it? How do I own it? What am I exposed to, and therefore, what should I do about it for everything in my investment portfolio?’” Poirier said.
“Traditionally those questions have been answered with lots of people and spreadsheets and drawing data manually from lots of different places,” he said.
Fast forward to today, and Addepar now counts more than $3.5 trillion of client assets on its data-aggregation and reporting platform, a figure the company says is increasing at a pace of $15 billion a week.
Addepar’s roster of clients includes registered investment advisors, private banks, and family offices, with a presence in more than 25 countries. But the RBC integration is one of its biggest customer wins to date.
RBC has been rolling out the Addepar platform in phases, with plans eventually to transition all 2,100 of its financial advisors to the technology.
For the RBC advisors who have already migrated to Addepar’s platform, their reaction has been “almost like a kid in a candy store,” said Greg Beltzer, head of technology at RBC Wealth Management-U.S.
“Our technology offerings had definitely become stagnant,” Beltzer said.
The customized visualizations of clients’ portfolios and reporting options have been a big hit with RBC advisors, as has the sheer breadth of data that Addepar’s platform aggregates, Beltzer said.
Addepar says that about 40% of the assets on its platform are alternatives, private-company shares, or some other type of nonmarketable security.
“Alternative investments … was probably one of our largest gaps in that we did not have a holistic way to present the myriad of alternative investments to our end clients,” Beltzer said.
Now with Addepar’s platform, RBC advisors can tie in advisory and brokerage accounts, 529 plans, and any outside accounts to which clients grant access, along with more complex and exotic investments like private-equity holdings. That category of broadly defined alternatives—an area of increasing interest for wealthy clients—had been a particular pain point for RBC advisors.
“This is a tool that took a lot of time for the advisor to have to prepare historically, because it was very one-off and bespoke,” Beltzer said. “And now it’s literally just customizing the views.”
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