AFTAs 2019: Best Third-Party Technology Vendor IT Team—Vestmark

Aftas

Vestmark, a Wakefield, Mass.-based provider of wealth management solutions and services, takes home this year’s AFTA for the best third-party technology vendor IT team, unseating last year’s winner, SS&C Advent and its Genesis team. The firm’s most significant initiative has been around product rationalization, transitioning from a fragmented ecosystem—for example, fund wrap, separately managed accounts, unified managed accounts, and advisor as portfolio manager each have their own systems and operations—to a truly unified solution.

Vestmark rolled out PortfolioONE to allow advisors to manage investors’ asset allocations across a range of investment vehicles, including funds, internal investment models, third-party-provided models and those with third-party manager discretion, according to the firm’s senior vice president of product management, Mark Peabody, and senior vice president of software engineering, Todd Giaquinto.

Their team is solving for other trends at the same time: increasing practice efficiency for advisors, moving from batch to real-time processes and system interactions, and driving agility in key internal business areas. To solve for these challenges, Vestmark also rolled out scalable options trading capabilities, allowing advisors to apply an options strategy—such as a covered call—over multiple accounts through VestmarkONE, which automatically tracks encumbered tax lots and notifies the advisor when options are expiring. “In the past, advisors claimed to shut down their offices for a few days to perform periodic account rebalancing,” Peabody says. “With VestmarkONE, these same advisors claim that they can get done in an hour what used to take them several days.”

In 2020, the firm expects to release a dashboard to provide advisors with enhanced views of their books of business, a new set of trading capabilities, and additional APIs and updates to its Investor Portal in order to deliver real-time services, add efficiencies and reduce errors. 

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