20 Dec Canadian tech firms teaming up to bridge advisor productivity gap
Integration of onboarding platform with Canadian wealthtech leader promises ‘new level of productivity and ease’.
Last week, two Canadian wealthtech firms announced a strategic partnership to help wealth management professionals get more done in their day-to-day.
Croesus, which provides a host of portfolio management systems, rebalancing tools, and other wealth tech tools to banks, firms and advisors across Canada, has inked a deal with Mako Financial Technologies, which focuses on the digital automation of critical KYC and document-related processes, to integrate their respective wealth management solutions.
“Croesus is the leader in Canada in wealth management technology,” says Raphael Bouskila, CEO at Mako Fintech. “We’re servicing more and more enterprise wealth managers, banks, and other larger clients. So as a partnership, this made sense for us.”
According to Bouskila, the partnership speaks to a mindset Mako has held from the very beginning: a desire to understand client data and ensure it’s accessible to the advisor and the client. That means after the KYC information is collected and organized, it has to be made available to the systems used by the advisor working with the client.
“When we talk about onboarding, people think it’s a simple problem. It’s just filling out some forms. But when you look at it a little closer, it’s actually a very complex data integrity problem,” Bouskila says. “Slapping some form fields on a PDF is not at all sufficient, because you’re not going to actually be collecting the right information in the right format, in such a way to allow cloud-based straight-through processing.”
While Mako’s focus has always been on onboarding and KYC information collection, Bouskila says the firm also recognizes the importance of playing well with other parts of the wealthtech ecosystem. To that point, Mako has continually worked to build relationships with other vendors that provide portfolio management systems, custodians, billing systems, CRMs, and all the different components of a modern wealth manager.
“We’ve been talking to Croesus for at least three years,” he says. “I would say over the last year, things have become more concrete in terms of what specific value we could deliver.”
The eureka moment, Bouskila says, was the realization that Mako has been collecting a trove of detailed structured data. Beyond the investment objectives and preferences of individual clients, they’re obtaining information about other members of their household, how their household is structured, and any trusts that they have set up – all useful pieces in the day-to-day work of managing clients’ wealth.
“What we can do with both onboarding and KYC refreshes, is actually give all that useful metadata and investment goals information, and feed that into the trading end,” Bouskila says. “We’re also producing all kinds of signed documents and investment policy statements, which can also be synced to the portfolio management system, so it’s accessible to the client when they go and look at their account.”
Marc Riel, vice-president, Business Development and Strategic Partnerships, North America at Croesus, says his firm has been working with Mako Fintech for some time, and is delighted with the strategic partnership it’s entered into with the company.
“Their solution for digital onboarding of new customers is extremely popular in the market,” Riel says. “The integration of our portfolio management system, which is the most widely used in Canada, with Mako Fintech’s solution will bring wealth management professionals to a new level of productivity and ease in their daily tasks.”
In the first phase of the partnership, users of Croesus Advisor, the most widely used portfolio management system in Canada, will see that solution integrated with Mako Fintech’s KYC and client documentation solution.
“A lot of firms we’ve talked to originally looked at onboarding as something they could do with DocuSign – or if they’re a technology vendor, something they could handle themselves,” Bouskila says.
“Our message from the beginning has been that this is a difficult enough problem that you’d need a whole dedicated product to get really good onboarding. And I think the last couple of years have really borne that out.”