Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN], a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton, today announced that it has acquired AdvisorEngine Inc., a digital wealth platform and provider of technology and consulting services to more than 1,200 financial advisory firms in the United States that manage over $600 billion in assets. The transaction brings compelling benefits to both companies and the firms they serve across wealth management channels, including registered investment advisors (RIAs), broker dealers, banks and insurance companies.
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 to help financial advisors 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,” said Jenny Johnson, president and CEO of Franklin Templeton. “As a result, 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. I’m excited to welcome the AdvisorEngine team to Franklin Templeton and look forward to what we will achieve together.”
AdvisorEngine will continue to build out its financial experience platform, which brings together advisor experience (AX), business operations experience (BX) and client experience (CX) in one place. The platform powers client relationship management (CRM), portfolio management, reporting, marketing and digital wealth solutions for financial advisory firms.
“Selecting a partner 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. Upon meeting Jenny Johnson and the leadership team, it became clear that Franklin Templeton is the right fit,” said Rich Cancro, AdvisorEngine founder and CEO. “We’re now better positioned than ever to help advisors transform how they do business, connect more deeply with clients, grow assets and scale their operations.”
Harshendu Bindal, Head of Digital Strategy and Wealth Management at Franklin Templeton, said, “Our ongoing focus is on adding a digital dimension to how we do business and is an extension of our 70-year legacy of being a true thought partner to our clients. AdvisorEngine will enable financial advisors in the U.S. to access and implement our best thinking across portfolio construction and practice management. This acquisition is an important part of our broader global initiative to enhance support for financial advisors via digital servicing capabilities.”
AdvisorEngine has achieved marketplace differentiation by helping firms deliver their value proposition at scale using smart automation. A major emphasis of future product development will be deepening these smart automation capabilities – especially while building out the next generation of the company’s CRM product, Junxure.
“Our next phase of product development has the potential to change the paradigm of what a wealth management platform can be,” said Craig Ramsey, AdvisorEngine Chief Operating Officer. “We are bringing down the walls between CRM, portfolio management and productivity software. As this happens, advisors will deliver on the promise of ‘personalization-at-scale’ in a way that has not been possible previously.”
In addition to having access to the breadth and depth of Franklin Templeton’s investment capabilities, AdvisorEngine will continue to build upon its open-architecture platform strategy by establishing new relationships with custodians, financial technology providers and asset managers. AdvisorEngine’s leadership team will remain in place and continue to operate the business as an independent subsidiary of Franklin Templeton.
The Asset & Wealth Management Investment Banking group at Raymond James & Associates served as the exclusive financial advisor to AdvisorEngine on the transaction. Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed.