We’ve worked to develop the premier operating system for wealth management. Our advice- and data-centric platform connects the critical components of managing wealth—financial planning, data aggregation and analytics, portfolio management and fiduciary solutions—as well as the many important constituents involved including advisors, enterprises, service providers and clients.
Envestnet is well-positioned to deliver a unique network that enhances financial wellness for tens of millions of end clients. We made significant strides in 2017 in expanding and enhancing this network, an ongoing effort that remains a priority in 2018.
This past year, we continued to build on our proven record of innovation and growth. We experienced robust revenue growth of 18% over the prior year to $684 million, and expanded our industry footprint in the growing $18 trillion advisor marketplace. By the end of 2017, we served more than 3,000 enterprises, nearly 60,000 advisors and 22 million end clients, and supported nearly $1.4 trillion in total platform assets and many trillions in aggregated assets.
Several industry trends support our long-term growth: advisors’ and enterprises’ increasing reliance on technology to enhance productivity and strengthen relationships with their clients; the growing dependence on data and analytics across financial services; and the movement of investor accounts from commission-based to fee-based. We expect these trends will continue to be a tailwind to our business for many years, reinforcing the value of our Financial Wellness Network.
Delivering Financial Wellness
We believe that delivering financial wellness requires a holistic approach, taking into consideration the full range of consumers’ financial needs, goals, and aspirations. There are five main pillars:
- Planning—gaining a deep understanding of the client and his/her current situation. It includes developing financial plans that achieve short- and long-term goals that factor in life transitions and circumstances.
- Budgeting—evaluating spending patterns and short-term savings relative to income. It is informed by dynamic information on where and when spending occurs.
- Investing— diversifying investments, seeking to maximize returns for a given level of risk to ensure there are sufficient long-term assets to achieve long term goals.
- Managing Credit—using various tools—loans, mortgages and other credit sources—in smart ways to finance appropriate long-term investments in areas such as real estate, education, and business.
Protecting—leveraging advisor-assisted guaranteed income and protection products that ensure the security of assets and persona data.
We are already delivering on much of this financial wellness vision. And, we will continue to pursue a three-part strategy reinforcing that vision focused on fiduciary solutions, wealth management technology and data analytics. Regardless of regulatory mandates, we believe the industry shift to fiduciary solutions will continue unabated, driven by investor preferences. Enhancing wealth management remains a core objective in our strategy. And, we are confident that data analytics will be essential to developing smart solutions for advisors and for reaching a large and growing addressable market.
The Value of Advice
Financial advice has evolved in dramatic ways, spurred by investor demand and technological advances. Successful advisors today do not simply manage investments—they provide comprehensive advice that encompasses the five main pillars of financial wellness. At the same time, advisors need to meet the digital expectations of their clients, especially younger ones. By equipping advisors with actionable financial wellness tools, Envestnet helps them engage clients across digital channels and bring together all of the important aspects of financial wellness.
While technology will become increasingly important, we believe human expertise, combined with technology and superior processes, delivers better outcomes than humans or technology alone. Considerable independent research supports this view. Great technology enables advisors to be more effective and efficient because it allows them to focus on what they do best—providing advice and counsel.
The Value of Data
If financial wellness is a living, dynamic ecosystem, then data is the oxygen that activates and enriches everything. Our Financial Wellness Network is more than a collection of disparate parts but rather a vibrant, harmonious whole in which data, software, and services work together. This integration helps advisors and enterprises realize the rich potential of their data, leveraged to deliver superior intelligence that drives better outcomes.
Importantly, we ensure data and data aggregation are actionable. For example, data powers our client portal, providing investors with an up-to-date picture of where they stand financially and where they are headed. To assess their current situation, investors can monitor cash flow and expenses and view a continuously updated net worth report based on their investment portfolio and personal finance accounts such as checking, savings, and mortgage. To see where they are headed, investors can review their financial plan, monitor their progress on important goals such as retirement and college, and adjust their plan as needed. The portal also empowers advisors and their clients to take immediate action if they are lagging on goals by moving to a more appropriate investment solution.
Today, Envestnet connects to nearly 16,000 data sources, a resource that is tremendously powerful but also complex. To enable advisors and enterprises to better manage and leverage data, we are introducing “Envestnet Envision”—an enterprise data management solution that unlocks valuable insights for financial enterprises and advisors. Envision combines investment data, aggregated consumer data, analytics, and performance measurement that enable large financial institutions to better serve their clients. It seamlessly organizes and securely “transports”
this wide spectrum of data to be used in our various solutions and portals—advisor, enterprise, client, and manager—as well as for third party applications.
Looking forward, we will continue to focus on providing innovative data solutions powered by the industry-leading data aggregation and analytics capabilities of Envestnet | Yodlee. We made significant progress in leveraging these capabilities in 2017, including developing an award-winning client portal. Envestnet | Yodlee will be critically important for us as we increasingly leverage our data enrichment capabilities.
Strategic Opportunity—the Financial Wellness Network
Our growth has positioned us to develop a powerful operating system that brings together the diverse pieces comprising wealth management and empowers advisors and enterprises. This is a key step toward delivering on the promise of helping tens of millions of end clients achieve financial wellness.
Another important initiative for enhancing our network is “Open ENV,” our open architecture, end-to-end platform that provides more flexible and timely solutions for advisors and financial firms. Open ENV unifies the wealth management process and delivers a custom experience through our growing API library. Expanding and enhancing our Open ENV suite of APIs to support integrations with clients and partners will be an ongoing priority. We also plan to invest further in the five main pillars of financial wellness—specifically in the credit and protection areas—to realize the long-term growth opportunities we see.
FolioDynamix, an acquisition we completed in early 2018, enhances our Financial Wellness Network. In addition to increasing our footprint, FolioDynamix adds to our advisor value proposition by providing advanced trading capabilities. FolioDynamix also provides the added benefit of easing advisors’ transition from a transaction-oriented, commission-based client service model to a fee-based, fiduciary standard of care.
In 2018, we will continue to expand and enhance our advice- and data-centric Financial Wellness Network. This is the culmination of a deliberate strategic evolution during the past 17 years as we’ve expanded our focus from investment management to wealth management to financial wellness.
The wealth management arena continues to be very much front and center for Envestnet. And we continue to extend our reach with the expanding opportunities offered by data aggregation, analytics, and financial wellness applications.
Going forward, we plan to expand our large and growing addressable market, leveraging our aggregation and analytics capabilities. We believe that as our volume of data aggregation and analytics increases, so will the value of that activity. All of this is in support of the overall goal of our smart system for financial wellness: to deliver better outcomes through better intelligence.
As always, I want to thank my Envestnet colleagues for their hard work and dedication; our clients for their continuing partnership; and our shareholders for recognizing the tremendous opportunity we share.
Judson Bergman, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Envestnet, Inc.