FinMason: Changing the Conversation on Data Analytics for Retail Wealth Management Firms

May 30, 2018

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For the past two years, we have been observing the fintech firm FinMason.  Since opening its doors, the Boston based firm has developed an institutional grade investment analytics engine. The engine, named The Algonath, agnostically feeds enterprise wealth management platforms that build reporting in their image.

Two years ago, I thought that FinMason fit into the risk measurement category of providers. My how two years can change an impression. Today, these folks are poised to change the enterprise data analytics conversation. With their team of data practitioners and ten Ph,Ds, FinMason has chosen to exclusively focus on helping to supercharge their customers’ existing investor data. The FinMason team is committed to leveraging their Algonath data engine to help shepherd compliant investor buying practices along with enterprise oversight to enterprise retail and institutional wealth management firms.

My thinking is what we were demonstrated only scratches the surface of what FinMason data analytics can do. Three words came to mind after our recent interviews and demonstrations – agnostic, tunability, and speed.  Let me explain further.

First, agnostic. During the demonstration, CEO Kendrick Wakeman shared that FinMason’s “strength lies in the process of data capture, management (including reconciliation), and its analysis flexibility, along with delivery of the output via a ‘lightning fast API’ to the enterprise wealth firm’s platform of choice.”  He continued, “We feel our enterprise customers are best suited to choose and manage their customers’ user experience.” So, in short, these guys are obsessed with the data, dialed in on supplying flexible analytics reporting, and leaving the user experience to their enterprise wealth customer.  These customers include broker-dealers of all types, wealth managers, and product companies.

Second, tunability. Salesforce was the platform of choice for the demonstration. Their FinRiver App, developed leveraging the Salesforce ApplicationExchange, is an example of how the FinMason data analytics drives data into an enterprise customer chosen eco-system.  The data FinMason delivers automatically updates financial advisors’ investor portfolios analytics nightly. The FinMason FinRiver application also endows compliance officers responsible for overseeing the above advisors with accountability-based oversight reporting workflows (think suitability review). FinMason leverages up to 700 unique analytics, allowing its enterprise wealth customer firms to tailor reporting to the granularity desired, and even supports the adding of new analytics within short windows. A 48 hour period might have been mentioned as a best case example.

Third, speed. FinMason’s ability to process data is fast, as in highly efficient. One use case highlighted the FinScope bulk processing platform can handle some 17 million 401k accounts overnight. That number highlights that FinMason’s data analytical engines leverage bulk processing techniques that minimize internet lag time. Mr. Wakeman built on this use case by pointing out that FinMason’s data processing technology is changing how enterprise firms look at outsourcing high calculation data analytics.  “Internal data analytics operations, traditionally time intensive and very expensive, are being transformed to being more efficient at transferring large amounts of data via the internet; delivering more flexibility to the enterprise customer who wants to have the flexibility to fine-tune their reporting to more directly match their needs; and deliver it all at a dramatically lower cost.”

Two other points should be noted. Relevant, but not fitting into the three-word concept would be investment management and data privacy. FinMason does not have an investment management arm, choosing to focus exclusively on the operational aspect of data management and business intelligence reporting.  Next, no privacy issues are exposed, as FinMason does not accept any upfront Personally Identifiable Information (PII)/Customer Identification Program (CIP) fields from their enterprise wealth customer firms into the Algonath analytic engine.

Reflecting on our interviews with the FinMason team, I came away thoughtfully impressed. FinMason builds on traditional data gathering and aggregation and delivers actionable business intelligence to its customers that support improvements in the customer experience, compliance oversight, and beyond. Additional areas where firms potentially could leverage FinMason beyond their existing services could be product shelf management and compliance trend analysis.  FInMason is changing the enterprise reporting conversation for enterprise wealth management firms. Analytics reporting, which traditionally has been dominated by long implementation periods, slow batch processing, inflexible reports, and expensive price tags have a competitor. FinMason supplies a fresh approach to analytics catalyzing how enterprise wealth management firms embrace business intelligence in a meaningful way.  A guess, artificial intelligence is next for the FinMason team.

 

The Beacon TechLab Team