- BlackRock is trying to get more of its products in front of financial advisors through a new deal.
- The asset manager is buying a minority stake in financial technology company Envestnet company, which is used by more than 90,000 advisors.
- The deal is the latest in BlackRock’s push to buy and build advisor-specific tools.
BlackRock, already the world’s largest asset manager, wants to distribute its retail products even more broadly.
To get in front of more financial advisors, the New York-based firm is buying a 4.9% stake in financial technology firm Envestnet for $US123 million, according to a Tuesday announcement.
About 92,000 financial advisers use Envestnet’s wealth management platforms, which include portfolio management, reporting and other capabilities. There are about 300,000 financial advisers in the US.
The deal comes as financial advisors move away from stock and bond picking, in favour of model portfolios built and managed by third parties.
“As wealth managers shift to fee-based advisory relationships, they are asking for new technologies to help them scale their business and build better portfolios,” said Venu Krishnamurthy, BlackRock’s global head of digital wealth, in Tuesday’s statement.
The deal deepens an existing relationship between the firms. Envestnet already offers BlackRock’s iRetire, a retirement planning technology. In the future, Envestnet will also include robo-adviser FutureAdvisor, a platform that BlackRock purchased in 2015, and BlackRock Advisor Center, a resource platform for financial advisers.
Envestnet does not have any similar relationships with other asset managers, a spokesman said. BlackRock, meanwhile, has worked to both buy and build technology platforms. In 2016, the firm said it would lead a funding round for iCapital Network, which offers access to alternative investments to financial advisors.
In March, BlackRock combined various internal platforms, including FutureAdvisor and iRetire, under its Digital Wealth arm. The firm named Krishnamurthy, formerly the president of Citi Wealth Management, as global head of the business.
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