Foreseeing spirited competition in the b2b digital advice space, AdvisorEngine continues to expand through acquisition.

The WisdomTree-backed enterprise platform provider purchased Kredible, an online reputation management tool, for an undisclosed price.

The move follows its February acquisition of client-adviser collaboration tool Wealthminder, and additional funding from its ETF patron.

The ability for an adviser to monitor and enhance their online profile is important in an age of Google searches, says AdvisorEngine CEO Rich Cancro.

"Whether it is a lawyer, accountant or financial adviser, the first thing we do is look them up online," Cancro says. "If we don’t like what see, even if that person was referred to us, it's likely we're not going to use that provider."

As a tool, Kredible offers a research-backed approach to analyzing one's profile online, Cancro says, examining dozens of points that potential clients will likely use in perceiving an adviser.

The profile management tool will be included for advisers using the AdvisorEngine platform, Cancro said, adding there may be a premium service in the future.

AdvisorEngine Chief Executive Rich Cancro says picking up Wealthminder's software technology is about "connecting advisers and clients."
"Whether it is a lawyer, accountant or financial adviser, the first thing we do is look them up online," says AdvisorEngine CEO Rich Cancro.

SIGNIFICANT COMPETITION
The addition boosts the New York-based firm to 70 full-time employees, serving 40 firms with over $2 billion in assets on the platform, Cancro says.

It also comes with an additional $5 million in funding from WisdomTree, which had provided $20 million in funding earlier this year.

"I feel great about how we’re positioned," Cancro says, noting the recent announcement from asset management giant BlackRock to pursue the adviser desktop space.

"It confirms what I've known for decades, the fee-based advisory channel is growing significantly. All sorts of firms are recognizing that now."

Cancro expects the enterprise adviser platform and software market to become even more competitive.

"If you look at the 90s, large technology companies were focused on large companies," Cancro says. "Now you're seeing companies of all types, from technology startups to asset managers, providing solutions to advisers."

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Suleman Din

Suleman Din

Suleman Din is technology editor of American Banker and Financial Planning. Follow him on Twitter at @sulemandn.