September 16, 2013

Scivantage, a financial technology provider, announced Monday morning it has acquired Portfolio Director, a leading supplier of investment management technology products, from Scottrade Financial Services.

Prior to its acquisition, Scottrade purchased Portfolio Director to serve their advisor service division. It was used to gather assets from advisors, track performance, build reports, and other tools to manage accounts.

"We're basically taking something that was mainly used by registered investment advisors and offering that up to the individual investor," explains Steve Walkenbach, President of Malbec, LLC, a subsidiary of Scivantage. "It seems like a natural progression but we see an opportunity there. If you look the last few years, all the online retail functionality first comes from professionals and starts to trickle down. As an example, when I started at Scottrade years ago we didn't have streaming quotes, that was for professionals only, now that's standard. This [acquisition] is another opportunity to level the paying field and give investors transparency into their account."

According to the press release, "Among the chief benefits of utilizing the Portfolio Director products is that advisors and investors can track their portfolios, and have the ability to use an assortment of benchmarks to compare their portfolios against various indices, including Standard & Poor’s, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the NASDAQ Composite Index, among others."

Walkenbach says these were among the most common requests, prompting the company to put a group together at the start of the year in search of a solution. "We looked at other solutions out there and we kept coming back to Portfolio Director."

[What's Behind Tradeweb's Acquisition of BondDesk?]

With this acquisition, Scivantage will be serving two groups; investment advisors and retail investors. Right out of the gate Scivantage can continue serving Portfolio Director to investment advisors as Scottrade did. The retail investor version is still under development, the team expects to be offered to brokerages to as an enterprise solution around Thanksgiving.

"We're going to bring professional analysis and reporting functionality to larger retail population by leveraging current technology in a cost effective model. In the past this type of functionality has only been accessible to high net worth clients, our goal is to simplify data, make it understandable, relevant, and accurate for the retail customer... We're taking this underlying ability to analyze a portfolio, report on that portfolio, compare it to benchmarks, and bring the type of deep analysis typically used by advisors, and bring all that into the retail space."

Walkenbach concludes, "Coming from Scottrade I know all firms want their clients to be as successful as possible. That's what makes for a long-standing relationship. This transparency will help that relationship and give clients a closer look at the performance of their account."

[Check out this session: IT Is Your Business, Run It Like One at Interop, which runs from September 30 through October 4 in NYC.]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Before joining UBM Becca served as Editor-In-Chief at Kapitall Wire, the sister site to an online brokerage firm that combines the challenges of the stock market with the thrill of ...