inStream Solutions previewed its integration with Redtail CRM today, marking the startup company’s first major step in integrating with other applications and threatening to disrupt the market for financial planning software.
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The integration, which could be released as soon as next week, essentially provides Redtail users with a free personal finance application, according to Alex Murguia, inStream’s founder and CEO. “Whoever is on Redtail has no reason not to do goals-based financial planning now,” says Murguia. inStream is free because it is integrated with a financial services supermarket and vendors paying for shelf space offset the cost of the software to advisors.
The integration pulls data from Redtail, the most popular CRM system used by independent financial advisors, into inStream’s goal-based financial planning system. Demographics, such as the name, age, job, and contact information of an advisor’s client and family members, as well as data about the family’s securities holdings and other assets, are pushed into inStream using a Web service. Without any downloads or imports, a financial advisors client data populate inStream’s goal-based financial planning tool.
Once a client’s data is stored in inStream, an advisor will receive alerts whenever the client’s plan is failing. For example, an advisor can set up an alert to inform him whenever a plan falls below a 75% confidence rate based on a Monte Carlo simulation. inStream will update the data feed from Redtail and run the Monte Carlo forecast nightly, Murguia says.
Since last March, when A4A first wrote
about inStream, Murguia has added big names to inStream’s executive team, adding John Wotowicz as executive chairman and Peter L. Corsell as a member of its board of directors. Wotowicz, a managing partner at Concentric Capital Partners LLC, previously served as head of global business development at Dimensional Fund Advisors and before that launched Europe’s leveraged finance industry while at Morgan Stanley. Corsell is a managing partner at Concentric and chairman and founder of GridPoint, a cleantech company. MIT’s Technology Review recognized Corsell as one of the world’s top innovators under age 35 and the World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader in 2010.
In addition, inStream recently hired Zohar Swaine, formerly the managing director of institutional strategy and products at TD Ameritrade Institutional, as President of inStream. At TDAI, Swaine led practice management and his team created an open access architecture allowing technology vendors to access TDAI’s brokerage system data for financial planning, CRM, rebalancing, portfolio accounting and other advisor applications. The move made TDAI the first brokerage serving RIAs to embrace open architecture instead of creating proprietary bundles of apps.
“I will drive the growth agenda of the firm which includes completing the technology build,” says Swaine, 42. “and create the marketplace of financial products for advisors that will provide a level of transparency allowing them to meet their fiduciary responsibilities.”
inStream's approach to financial planning is more proactive than traditoinal apps used by advisors. Financial planning apps currenlty create a plan and then update it once a year. In contrast, inStream uses data to rigger alerts about a client's personal finances. For example, while a traditional financial planning app would not collect informaton about a client's mortgage, inStream will collect that data and use it to tell you it is time for a client to refinance and refer an advisor to mortgage products in its marketplace that could provide a solution. This would enable the avdisor to proactiely alert clients about such opportunities. Similarly, says Swaine, when a client's child turns eight, inStream will inform the advisor, since that is the most popular age for a parent to establish a 529 plan.
Swaine says about 1300 advisors are now signed up to use inStream.
“This is not just play in new technology,” says Swaine. “It’s a play in changing the way advisors do business.”