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Why data provider Refinitiv is buying software services firm Scivantage

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Hoping to crack the advisory and tax management fintech markets, data provider Refinitiv is buying software-as-services firm Scivantage, which specializes in digital wealth management.

The deal is the latest in a long line of acquisitions large firms have made to gain share in the booming fintech market.

To date, New York and London-based Refinitiv has focused on the bank, institutional, and large enterprise fintech markets, while Scivantage was an early mover in developing brokerage technology. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Scivantage provided software to TradeKing — now Ally Invest — and financial institutions such as U.S. Bank. The firm’s best known products are Wealthsqope, a portal for digital clients and investor reporting, and Maxit E2E, which provides cost basis accounting software and tax information reporting.

Those capabilities fill out Refinitiv’s product set, particularly in areas where the data provider has not traditionally focused, such as tax management, says William Trout, head of wealth management for research firm Celent.

The acquisition is consistent with developments across the industry, Trout says.

“There is a desire to use back-office functionality, especially around tax and reporting, to drive a first-class advisor and investor experience,” he explains. “Refinitiv wants to help its financial institution clients deliver this experience, and by gearing its institutional services to the needs of the retail investor, it gains the pricing power that comes with proximity to the end client.”

Refinitiv and Scivantage already collaborate and the acquisition is projected to enhance Refinitiv’s wealth management portfolio, Joe Mrak, the firm’s global head of wealth management, noted in a statement.

“Acquiring Scivantage at this stage affords a tremendous opportunity for us to work together on our shared goal of creating next-generation digital wealth management solutions,” Mrak said.

Refinitiv currently provides data and trading and technology platforms to around 40,000 institutions around the world. By absorbing Scivantage’s portal software, Refinitiv hopes to improve the company’s ability to sell workflow benefits for end clients and wealth professionals.

Notable examples of other big firms snapping up small fintechs include Envestnet’s purchase of data provider Yodlee, Fidelity’s acquisition of eMoney and Principal Financial Group’s gobbling up RobustWealth.

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