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Fidelity Acquires eMoney Advisor

Cementing a long-standing relationship, Fidelity announced it will acquire wealth planning software firm eMoney Advisor.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Conshohocken, Pa.,-based eMoney will remain independent, serving other providers and maintaining its founder Edmond Walters as CEO, though Fidelity will have a majority ownership.

“We have a long track record with many of Fidelity’s 10,000 advisory firm clients and hope to extend our growth among that base, while deepening and expanding our many relationships beyond the Fidelity footprint,” Walters said in a statement.

The company's software tracks more than $1.4 trillion in client assets among 25,000 financial professionals and institutions, eMoney says.

The acquisition helps Fidelity, one of the nation’s largest mutual fund providers, in its goal of finding a comprehensive data management solution, a firm spokeswoman said.

There are two ways to look at eMoney's acquisition, says Dan Inveen, principal and director of research at FA Insight. Some advisors who liked eMoney for its lack of ties to any one custodian might be upset, he acknowledges.

"I could see where there would be reasons for some concern, but from other perspective you can view the acquisition as an opportunity for eMoney to tap into the greater resources of Fidelity, particularly all of the technological resources that it is currently equipped with," Inveen says.

"You could argue this is a good thing for eMoney and its clients, that they do have the abilities of a well- resourced parent to reinvest into program suite and improve things. Only time will tell how open the offering will continue to be."

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