Franklin Resources Inc., which operates as Franklin Templeton, has announced the acquisition of AdvisorEngine Inc., a digital wealth platform and provider of technology and consulting services.
AdvisorEngine today serves more than 1,200 financial advisory firms in the United States that manage over $600 billion in assets. The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed, and Franklin Templeton’s leadership has indicated that AdvisorEngine will maintain its current branding and product structure.
In a statement revealing the acquisition, Jenny Johnson, president and CEO of Franklin Templeton, says the transaction brings compelling benefits to both companies and the firms they serve across wealth management channels, including registered investment advisers (RIAs), broker/dealers, banks and insurance companies. She explains that AdvisorEngine will work closely with Franklin Templeton to “co-create new proprietary solutions, including goals-based financial planning tools, digital portfolio construction analytics and research-enabled practice management services.”
Ultimately, the goal of the acquisition is to help financial advisers “enhance their wealth management offerings.”
“We’re in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution, and technological advances are reshaping how financial solutions are delivered,” Johnson suggests. “We continue to invest in technology and teams to enhance our offerings and enable us to innovate at the nexus of asset management, wealth management and technology.”
According to Johnson, after the acquisition, AdvisorEngine will continue to build out its financial experience platform, “which brings together adviser experience, business operations experience and client experience in one place.”
The platform powers client relationship management (CRM), portfolio management, reporting, marketing and digital wealth solutions for financial advisory firms.
Rich Cancro, AdvisorEngine founder and CEO, says the choice to become part of Franklin Templeton “was about finding an organization that is aligned to our vision and culture and positioned to contribute expertise that will make our platform even smarter.”
Harshendu Bindal, head of digital strategy and wealth management at Franklin Templeton, says the onboarding of AdvisorEngine will enable financial advisers to access and implement his firm’s “best thinking across portfolio construction and practice management.”
“This acquisition is an important part of our broader global initiative to enhance support for financial advisers via digital servicing capabilities,” Bindal adds.
“Our next phase of product development has the potential to change the paradigm of what a wealth management platform can be,” suggests Craig Ramsey, AdvisorEngine chief operating officer. “We are bringing down the walls between CRM, portfolio management and productivity software. As this happens, advisers will deliver on the promise of ‘personalization-at-scale’ in a way that has not been possible previously.”
As has been the case with other deals signed recently by leading providers in the retirement plan services space, it will take some time for the full implications of this deal to emerge for the defined contribution (DC) plan marketplace. Of note, this is not Franklin Templeton’s first sizable acquisition of 2020. Back in February, the firm significantly expanded its institutional footprint with the acquisition of Legg Mason.