People’s United Bank, a Northeast regional, hopes that the addition of Smartleaf’s portfolio management software will increase the amount of time advisors have to meet with clients and prospects nearly three-fold.
A pseudo operating system for advisors, the program comes with advanced controls and customization options that allow advisors to make moves like tactical allocations across their entire business book in one day.
According to Smartleaf’s CEO Jerry Michael, the whole point is to do away with the yellow pads and manual labor so advisors can almost triple the time they spend with clients.
“When you automate something, good things start to happen,” Michael said over the phone from company headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.
The upgrade made sense, Michael explained, because of the bank’s history and structure. With five acquisitions under its belt, People’s United Bank wanted to maintain customized solutions for each sector while bringing some consistency to their portfolio management.
“The research was all done internal to the firm, but they wanted to open that up and have the advisor still do 100% of the supervision over the portfolio while also being able to get the best intellectual capital,” Michael said.
One of the management options the software offers is its open-architecture research, which will give advisors at People’s United access to models and stock selection from other firms, such as Goldman Sachs.
“If the best stock selection comes from Goldman Sachs, you can buy a model port from Goldman,” Michael said. “It’s really about choice”
With clients like U.S. Bank and BB&T, Smartleaf primarily targets banks. However, their list of clients also includes an RIA and a broker-dealer, and the software-maker is looking to expand deeper into those markets.
Generally, Michael’s approach is to divide advisors into two groups: asset gatherers, who collect the funds, and asset managers, who actively oversee them.
“We are for firms where managing is part of their value proposition, customization is part of their value proposition, and their objective is to consistently deliver a custom solution,” he said.
Smartleaf will consider all assets managed under its software as part of its discretionary AUM, which was $50 billion before the deal with People’s United Bank.