AssetBook launches the Valian Communications application
AssetBook, the provider of Pulse portfolio management and reporting technology, announced this week the availability of Valian, its new customer engagement app.
Valian’s SEC-compliant chat feature enables live in-app conversations between advisors and clients, which at first glance may seem like a simple feature already available, but not so fast, says Ravi Dattani , long-time AssetBook user and investor.
“What AssetBook is working on with the customer engagement app is a first step with a substantial roadmap ahead of it,” he said. This will likely include video conferencing capabilities, collaborative to-do lists, interactive intake forms and more.
“Almost every advisor I talk to still struggles with their tech stack and to work effectively, sometimes it’s the quality of the integrations, with others it’s just that there isn’t a lot of focus on operational workflow for advisors,” said Dattani, President of Clariti Wealth Advisors.
His firm, formerly Schiavi + Dattani, has 200 clients and 12 employees, including six advisers. The amount of client communication required by a company of its size – just under $410 million in assets under management, plus an additional $81 million in assets held under advisement – requires as much efficiency as possible to reduce constraints on workflow and compliance.
Dattani noted that all client communications must be stored and in WORM (write-once-read many) format, and everything must be backed up.
He then described the typical scenario of texting his company’s pre-Valiant customer.
“We can have a customer text on our RingCentral [voice over IP system] and a Zapier app [integration] can build that into our compliance system, but it’s clunky,” Dattani said. The client gets the advisor’s mobile number, and another layer of compliance complexity is introduced.
“Now instead of texting me [or our the firm’s other advisors] or by calling our RingCentral number, we tell the customer to launch the Valian application, which will look like text but is inside Assetbook’s systems where it is stored in accordance and backed up,” he said. declared.
“So once we have a customer communication app, we can start moving workflows there as well,” Dattani said, describing the common example of a customer sending a motion email. money, which Assetbook could easily integrate with Valian.
And the list goes on, from being an easy way to share documents and replacing a separate customer portal, to its use for onboarding new customers and as a sort of shared workspace environment for collaboration.
He added that the more features that can be packed into a single app, the fewer other advisors and clients there will be to use, configure and remember.
“We are working on real optimization of the advisor’s day-to-day activity,” said AssetBook CEO Marwa Zakharia. She added that in addition to communication features, advisors and clients will appreciate Valian’s detailed views of advisor-managed and non-advisor-managed accounts through the app’s integration with Plaid.
Although she declined to say how many advisory firms work with AssetBook, she said the firm has been around for 15 years and has retained many of its advisors, including some, including Dattani, who are investors in the firm.
She held various positions at AssetBook for five years, first as a consultant, then as head of operations and the last two years as CEO, during which the staff grew to 25 employees, 65% of whom were women, she said. Her husband, Miguel Zahkaria, served as the company’s chief technology officer for nearly nine years.
While at AssetBook, Pulse, the company’s flagship portfolio management and reporting platform, was rebuilt and migrated to a fully cloud-based system running on Microsoft Azure.
Pulse includes deep integrations with several strategic partners in the areas of CRM, Trading and Rebalancing, Financial Planning, Account Aggregation, and the four major custody platforms.
“We do fully two-way integrations with anyone we take on as a strategic partner,” Zahkaria said, citing rebalancing app iRebal as a prime example.
Although the company does not currently publish pricing, there is no additional cost for Valian’s features. She said a consulting firm with 500 accounts would pay an average of around $1,500 per month on an annual contract.