compliance & regulation

Building a Fiduciary Framework

Research reinforces the need for technology to help advisors and firms comply

RADNOR, Pa., Nov. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Today, eMoney Advisor announced additional details on its Fiduciary Framework initiative developed to bridge the gap between financial planning technology and compliance software.

Findings are from a study conducted in partnership with research and advisory firm Aite Group and based on dozens of in-depth meetings with top financial institutions,

The news comes on the heels of the DOL’s release of 34 advisor-generated Frequently Asked Questions, adding additional clarity to the topic of how firms—and the technology providers they’ve partnered with—can support advisor compliance requirements into the future.

First previewed at the technology firm’s Advisor Summit in September, eMoney’s innovative fiduciary solutions will include both enhancements to its current product suite as well as new capabilities to enable firms and advisors to better comply with the regulatory requirements of the April 2017 Department of Labor (DOL) Rule. This includes account aggregation, basic and advanced planning tools, observations and next steps for documentation of client interactions, the interactive input of client goals, a suite of reports, screen-sharing tools, advisor-led digital advice, a compliance workflow and automated alerts on client activity.

Aite Group’s study, which was conducted from August through October of this year, examined the industry’s methodology to best align Fiduciary Rule compliance and risk mitigation with a financial advisor’s ability to meet client investment needs. Full findings from the study will be published later this month; however, the research has already been instrumental in helping eMoney further refine how its offering can address the gaps.

“After extensive interviews with wirehouses, broker-dealers, RIAs, asset managers and other representatives of financial institutions, three themes emerged as critical components of establishing fiduciary status: compliance, analytics and technology,” said Matthew Schulte, SVP, Financial Planning, eMoney Advisor. “While we’ve long known the significant role that technology plays to help advisors maintain and grow their businesses, what the research confirmed is that technology solutions are necessary contributors to comprehensive compliance efforts for both advisors and firms.”

Leveraging existing and new features, eMoney’s Fiduciary Framework addresses each of these themes throughout the four stages of the advisor-client lifecycle, which include: data-gathering, goal-setting, recommendation and ongoing evaluation. Throughout these stages, eMoney’s enhanced tools will allow firms and advisors to streamline and monitor client activity while creating more complete profiles of clients. Doing so empowers advisors to demonstrate their fiduciary capacity through technology in a way that is not disruptive to business.

Another key takeaway from both the research and months of conversations with eMoney clients is the need for a complete end-to-end compliance solution in one platform.

...what the research confirmed is that technology solutions are necessary contributors to comprehensive compliance efforts for both advisors and firms.

“Our commitment to integration has always been driven by a pragmatic perspective that advisors need seamless access to tools that exceed the scope of eMoney’s domain expertise—CRM, performance reporting, research and recommendations, etc.,” Schulte said. “That extends to fiduciary readiness as well, which is why we’re in end-stage talks with several partners to develop a complete DOL solution within eMoney.”

In the meantime, with the DOL deadline fast approaching, eMoney plans to incorporate the following enhancements to the Framework:

  • Advanced analytics that use DOL-specific filters released earlier this week
  • Best interest facts checklist to ensure sufficient client data is collected
  • A digital onboarding workflow that allows clients to enter their own information, on their own time
  • Client acknowledgments of key events/facts
  • A new compliance tool that includes event logs, review/approval of advisor presentations, custom disclaimers and disclosures, and more
  • Updates to their basic planning tools for simple, scalable planning solutions

“We’re calling our solution Fiduciary ‘Framework’ because we think of it as just that—a necessary structure to support DOL-preparedness across all stages of the advisor-client lifecycle,” Schulte said. “Working in the client’s best interest is fundamental to an advisor’s ability to be successful, and we’re confident our solutions are going to provide the technology support necessary to demonstrate compliance.”

In an effort to provide more details about the Fiduciary Framework, Schulte will present at the T3 Enterprise Conference on Thursday, Nov. 3, in Las Vegas. His presentation, titled “Taking Fintech to Fidtech: How eMoney is Bridging the Fiduciary Technology Gap,” will take place from 3:40-4:10 p.m. in Breakout Room Castellana 2 and is open to all conference attendees.

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About eMoney Advisor
eMoney Advisor, LLC (“eMoney”), based in Radnor, Pennsylvania, is the only wealth-planning system for financial advisors and firms that offers superior transparency, accessibility, security, and organization for everything that affects their clients’ financial lives. A technology envisioned and created by advisors for advisors, eMoney’s award-winning software and resources are tailored to transform the advisor’s ability to implement comprehensive financial plans and prepare their clients for a secure financial future. For more information, please visit our website.