SmartAsset announced Thursday that it is a part of LPL’s Vendor Affinity Program, which is a network of third-party vendors that have agreed to provide their products and services to LPL advisers at discounted prices.
SmartAsset, with a reach of more than 100 million consumers, matches investors who are searching for financial advice with advisers. Advisers can select the geography and asset tier of prospects that they choose to work with. LPL Financial-affiliated advisers will also have access to SmartAsset’s Live Connections service that provides a warm phone transfer for RIAs to connect with high-intent consumer prospects.
The partnership is designed to address the digital marketing pain point for advisers that have grown their practices in a virtual world while trying to maximize the time spent with clients. Digital marketing is the area where advisers planned to increase their technology spend the most, according to InvestmentNews’ 2020 Adviser Technology Study. About 49% of the 269 firms surveyed said they would boost digital marketing spending.
Tech tools like the SmartAdvisor platform and its Live Connections service are expected to feed the increased demand from financial advisers to have digital-savvy marketing, business development and lead generation strategies, according to LPL.
“As the need for digital marketing solutions increases, we recognize the value that a tool like SmartAsset can be to advisers looking to grow their practices,” Rob Pettman, LPL Financial executive vice president of wealth management solutions said in a statement. “SmartAsset gives them a new way to connect with investors across the country digitally, while also freeing up time to spend with their existing clientele.”
LPL selects the vendors in its program based on adviser demand, the ease of using their products or services, and their ability to meet LPL’s security and compliance requirements, according to the announcement.
As for SmartAsset, the consumer marketplace has seen 100% growth in referred assets, largely propelled by the launch of Live Connections in April 2020.
In April, referred assets that flowed through SmartAdvisor were more than $35 billion, according to the firm. In addition, the amount of closed investable assets for advisers on SmartAdvisor increased from $5 billion in 2019 to $10 billion in 2020 and is tracking for $20 billion in 2021.
SmartAsset’s goal is to refer $100 billion in new AUM to advisers by 2024, according to the announcement.
The average SmartAdvisor investor is about 57 years old, has investable assets of $890,000 and 76% reported that they do not currently have an adviser, and approximately 70% are retired or less than 10 years away from retirement, according to the announcement.
“We’re seeing a major shift in the way that advisers grow their business, as more individual RIAs and firms turn to digital marketing channels to boost investor prospecting and, in turn, AUM growth,” said Michael Carvin, Founder and CEO of SmartAsset in a statement.
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