I am rarely more impressed with asset management technology. Most of the press releases and calls I get about advisor technology are evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Most technical news focuses on iterations, integrations, and partnerships – rarely real innovations. And after 22 years of writing about things that are marketed as “new” and “cutting edge”, I am exhausted.
As a result, I’m still not entirely sure what to make of Aidentified, a prospecting and relationship intelligence platform that was recently demonstrated to me after a long virtual meeting with its founders. I was impressed by what the 3-year-old startup’s technology can do and what potential it has for the independent consultancy channel.
The founders tout the technology’s ability to discover and analyze potential networks by aggregating data on individual and household level career advancement, asset events (e.g., executive promotions, publicly filed stock option awards, etc.), assets, and household income , personal interests and up to 150 additional data points.
According to the company’s founders, their technology has mapped more than five and a half billion first-degree connections, over 100 billion second-degree connections, over 210 million consumer and 80 million business data profiles.
It uses predictive analysis algorithms and machine learning to create unified household and professional profiles of the advisor, advisor network, clients and prospects to track money on the move or the pools of worthy prospects previously hidden from the public other side the existing relationship of a consultant.
If it sounds like an invasion of privacy, it is not. All underlying data comes from 14 different public or publicly available for-profit databases. Across all of this data, the company’s proprietary AI-driven matching technology has made the above 5.5 billion connections, matching events, assets, inventories, transactions, property purchases, etc. to specific people and households.
“We found that no one is pursuing careers and households together,” said Tom Aley, CEO of Aidentified, who co-founded the company with his brother Darr.
Dun & Bradstreet and Axiom are among the data providers that the company accesses.
The secret sauce Aidentified is adding comes in the form of their own matching technology, an area where the co-founders were serial entrepreneurs and built and sold two more data analytics companies, Netprospex (sold to Dun & Bradstreet in 2015) and Generate (sold) News Corp in 2008).
I found a brief description from Ralph Schonenbach, the company’s product manager, a very fitting metaphor for what Aidentified does: “It’s like a pivot table in America.”
“Let’s assume you want to find female IT managers who play golf and have investable assets of $ 1 million,” says Schonenbach, explaining the granularity of the technology’s user interface. He then carried out the search during my demo, selected from various drop-down menus and entered a few parameters. In the results, there were half a dozen executives who met this description within two degrees of separation from him.
“You can be an RIA of five and still not knows who you know, ”said Darr Aley, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer.
“We are doing our best to connect networks,” he said, describing that Aidentified complements established network providers, including LinkedIn, which the company is also integrating.
It is the layering of personal and business data and the mapping of relationships between people that make the platform powerful.
“We try to keep track of everything from selling stocks to M&A activity to selling a house, divorce, change of address and all of those happenings. We didn’t have the power to do this in 2004, ”said Tom Aley, referring to the brothers’ first matching-generation startup that got money moving. The performance of today’s artificial intelligence-based algorithms is the missing piece of the technology needed.
The founders said that while pursuing various industries, the company started with the private wealth industry, which continues to represent 70% of its 650 clients. Her clients include three of the country’s wirehouses, including Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and UBS. Also on the customer list are Envestnet, LPL and Raymond James.
“Our goal is for advisors to see before Bumble’s next IPO,” said Tom Aley of the $ 2.2 billion US dating app IPO in February that far exceeded expectations Left company valued at over $ 7 billion.
And this is how the founders imagine independent consultants who use the technology: They visualize the full extent and potential of the people in their networks and can search for potential customers in these networks who can be more easily converted into customers.
“That relationship capital should be owned by the company,” said Darr Aley. “The best reference you can ever get on a private wealth bureau is someone who is already a client.”
The closest competitor I was able to find is Europe-based Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, which owns Wealth-X and BoardEx and acquired Wealthengine for $ 14.5 million in December. This company’s platform provides lists of the world’s wealthy people and tracks the movements of executives and M&A across markets.
The company’s introductory pricing ranges from “$ 3,600 to $ 5,000 per consultant per year,” with costs falling with higher volumes, according to Aley. The company offers a 14-day free trial on its website.
While many independent RIAs will find this expensive, it parallels many of the commercially available referral networks, prospecting tools, services, and platforms that are already out there.
If that’s what I’ve seen, Aidentify provides the best source of behind-the-scenes data and relational connections a consultant needs to get an introduction to a prospect.
Of course, it will still be up to the advisor’s skills to use the information in a way that doesn’t alienate current customers or scare potential customers and close the deal. I suspect that many of the top prospects in these networks will already have an advisor. However, this is a completely different problem that no technology platform can solve.