Why Franklin Templeton Acquired AdvisorEngine

More than 1,200 companies managing over $600 billion use the wealth management software.

(Noah Berger/Bloomberg)

(Noah Berger/Bloomberg)

Franklin Resources — the asset management firm best known as Franklin Templeton — said Wednesday it acquired AdvisorEngine, the wealth management software and consulting company that works with more that 1,200 advisory firms managing over $600 billion.

Franklin Templeton now owns all of AdvisorEngine, which WisdomTree Investments was a minority shareholder in.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but Franklin Templeton did share some of its plans for AdvisorEngine, a platform that includes a client relationship management (CRM), portfolio management, reporting, marketing, and other systems for wealth managers.

Under Franklin Templeton, AdvisorEngine will operate as a separate subsidiary and maintain its brand and product names. AdvisorEngine CEO Rich Cancro, Head of Product Patrick Arnold, and the rest of the company’s management team, will stay in place. “We will maintain our open-architecture approach by deepening our integrations with custodians, fintech companies and asset managers,” according to a page on AdvisorEngine’s website dedicated to the deal.

It also announced that John Tyers, who was consulting for the company, was named to the new position of chief growth officer. “The word ‘Growth’ in his title starts with helping you grow and scale -- if we take care of that, AdvisorEngine’s revenue will grow.”

The company has an “ambitious multi-year product roadmap” that includes new features and a redesign of the user interface of Junxure, the CRM software that AdvisorEngine purchased in January of 2018. It’s also planning on delivering new integrations with custodians and other fintech firms and improving other parts of the platform.

But the two companies will collaborate. They plan to co-create new, proprietary goals-based financial planning tools, portfolio construction analytics, and “research-enabled practice management services.”

“We’re now better positioned than ever to help advisors transform how they do business, connect more deeply with clients, grow assets and scale their operations,” Cancro said in a statement about the deal.

Franklin Templeton gains new services to offer financial advisors, as well as a means to share its ideas about portfolio construction and practice management. “Our ongoing focus is on adding a digital dimension to how we do business and is an extension of our 70-year legacy of being a true thought partner to our clients,” Harshendu Bindal, Head of Digital Strategy and Wealth Management at Franklin Templeton, said in a statement.

The deal is the latest example of asset managers seeking to bolster their offerings to financial advisors and get closer to them.

In December, BlackRock announced its model portfolios would be available through 55ip, a platform advisors use to create their own model portfolios and investment strategies. The day after BlackRock’s winter announcement, Invesco said it purchased RedBlack, a portfolio rebalancing and trading technology company with more than 150 clients and $350 billion assets on its platform.

The Asset & Wealth Management Investment Banking group at Raymond James & Associates advised AdvisorEngine on the transaction.