AssetMark acquires Voyant in $145 million deal

AssetMark Financial Holdings Inc. announced Monday its acquisition of financial planning software Voyant in a deal that positions the turnkey asset manager to build a financial wellness platform.

AssetMark will acquire Voyant for $145 million in a cash and stock transaction funded with $120 million in cash and $25 million in AssetMark stock, according to the announcement. The acquisition is expected to close in mid-2021. 

Voyant, a software as a service company, provides financial planning tech to more than 20,000 advisers across enterprises and small adviser firms in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland and the United States. Voyant will continue to operate as a separate subsidiary with access to AssetMark’s sales and marketing tools to increase the fintech’s U.S. market share. 

For AssetMark, the acquisition allows the TAMP to take ownership of Voyant’s proprietary financial planning software to integrate into its existing tools like the AssetMark PortfolioEngine and AssetMark WealthBuilder, according to the announcement. 

Moreover, the acquisition is expected to be accretive to AssetMark’s adjusted earnings per share, adding two to three cents per share in 2021 and about 10 cents per share on the full year basis for 2022, said incoming Chief Executive Officer Natalie Wolfsen. 

The acquisition news comes about a week after the firm announced AssetMark CEO Charles Goldman stepped down from his post as President and CEO and as a member of the Board of Directors. Goldman will assist in the transition by serving as a consultant to the company for one year. 

Wolfsen, who has been with AssetMark for seven years, most recently as chief solutions officer, will lead alongside Michael Kim as its new President. Both appointments are effective March 3. 

The timing of Goldman’s departure and the acquisition are not connected, Wolfsen said.

Moving forward, Wolfsen is focusing on closing the transaction with Voyant while pushing AssetMark’s “financial wellness vision,” she said. The goal is to connect a user’s cash flow and budgeting applications to develop long-term goal-based financial planning, similar to TAMP powerhouse Envestnet

“Technology is generating conversations and connection points between the adviser and the investor,” she said. “That’s the next generation, the next iteration of financial planning — this idea of financial wellness.”

Choosing to acquire Voyant instead of opting for another integration made sense to add another diversified revenue stream for AssetMark as Voyant subscription-based revenue is not market or interest rate sensitive, according to the announcement. 

“We’ll have our proprietary financial planning offering, which is Voyant, and that’ll be, integrated into our financial wellness vision,” Wolfsen said. “But we’re also integrating. We’ve just integrated with MoneyGuidePro, and will continue to integrate with other financial planning systems, because it’s the right thing to do for our clients that have already made a financial planning choice. 

Also, we like to have competition, it just makes everyone better.”

AssetMark’s plans to pursue a “financial wellness vision” via the Voyant acquisition comes on the heels of Envestnet’s announcement to ramp up investments into a digital financial wellness ecosystem that connects multiple aspects of a user’s financial journey. 

Envestnet revealed last Thursday it added $30 million to its operating expenses this year partly dedicated to building a digital “financial wellness ecosystem,” according to the company’s fourth quarter earnings.

Yet, a little friendly competition in the TAMP space is good for the industry overall, Wolfsen said. “I don’t believe there’ll be any sort of ‘winner takes all’ financial wellness endgame here,” she said. “I think we all will grow together and serve investors needs, and it’s only good for the industry.” 

AssetMark ranks third largest TAMP with $67.3 billion in AUM right behind SEI at $69.4 billion AUM and Envestnet at $229 billion in AUM. 

The post AssetMark acquires Voyant in $145 million deal appeared first on InvestmentNews.

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