Invessence: Built to be Flexible

Vasyl Soloshchuk

Invessence
Website http://www.invessence.com/
Established 2012
Client types RIAs, Broker-Dealers, Asset Managers, Banks
Key products AdvisorGo, AdvisorCustom
Value orposition Digital wealth management technology for financial firms worldwide that are looking to attract, convert, and manage new client assets with greater efficiency through an automated online platform
Top Executives Jigar Vyas, CEO/Co-Founder
MaryLou Giustini, Co-Founder
Prashant Mehta, CTO
Michael Frank, COO
Christopher Lengle, CSO

Nestled in Chatham, NJ, a picturesque suburb of New York City, Invessence is a FinTech solutions provider that is reinventing the wealth management landscape by automating the entire investing process into a streamlined online solution. The company has built an impressive group of partners, teaming up with larger financial institutions to deliver a next generation digital experience for their customers. Seizing upon numerous opportunities the digital era offers, Invessence continues to help advisors take their business to the next level.

“We offer a full range of configuration options that lets each advisor customize the platform to meet their needs – from incorporating their own investment strategy to creating a personalized user experience for their client base.”

– Jigar Vyas

The main focus of Invessence is the B2B market where the company deals with a large pool of clients with unique needs.

“Different personal and financial factors will affect how different types of investors interact with the technology. It’s not one size fits all. We take time to understand the advisor’s target audience so we can create a platform that delivers a truly personalized user experience.”

– Prashant Mehta

The Invessence Team

Jigar Vyas Co-Founder and CEO, Jigar Vyas – Jigar has more than 22 years of experience in traditional asset management, hedge fund management, securities brokerage business and technologies. Over the past 22 years, Jigar has managed and traded various investment products such as long/ short equities, pairs arbitrage, asset allocation, quantitative hedged strategies, and anti-gaming algorithms at various large companies including J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Harvard Management, Inc. Prior to coming to Wall Street, Jigar was a senior engineer at Raytheon Company, working on the U.S. Navy satellite program. Jigar holds a Masters in Computer Engineering from Boston University.

Michael FrankChief Operating Officer, Michael Frank – Michael has more than 30 years’ experience in capital markets. He was a key business developer and Partner at Rockrimmon Securities, specializing in options strategies. The firm grew from 3 people to more than 50 employees spanning all options exchanges. In 1995, Michael left Rockrimmon to found Gateway Partners. At Gateway, he planned the overall growth strategy of the firm to become a leading options specialist with market making operations on all five options exchanges, with more than 40 employees. In 2001, Michael sold his specialist business to Knight Capital Group. Michael received a B.S. in Business Management from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Prashant Mehta Chief Technology Officer, Prashant Mehta – Prashant has more than 25 years of experience in technology development and adds strong technical muscle to the Invessence team. He brings a valuable combination of expertise in developing applications on a variety of platforms, drawing on a solid, deep knowledge of the financial industry. He has worked with large banks, brokerage institutions, and technology vendors, creating technical products, websites, and trade management systems. Prashant has a B.S. in Computer Science from Rutgers University. He is passionate in support of children’s education causes and enjoys a good game of bridge and tennis.

Solutions to Fit Your Needs

Invessence offers two unique platforms: AdvisorGo and AdvisorCustom.

AdvisorGo is a turnkey platform for advisors interested in a streamlined yet cost-effective automated investment solution. The solution is easy to set-up and requires no additional personnel to operate. It is meant for small firms that want big success.

AdvisorCustom offers a full range of customization options for firms interested in customizing their solution. This solution is more popular with large financial firms and allows them to offer their own investment models, custom UI/UX, client profiling algorithms, custodial integrations, account opening, and integration with other legacy systems under one brand. Ultimately, it allows advisors to create a user experience exactly the way they want it.

“When we meet with our clients, we show how our expertise can create efficiencies for them today. Rather than asking them to convert to our product line, we help them fill the gap with our services.”

– Jigar Vyas

The AdvisorCustom solution perfectly suits the demands of clients looking to set their brands apart from other similar vendors. Customization is limited only by the clients’ requirements.

“Our ultimate goal is to help our clients grow their business. As a partner, we do not take ownership of your client relationships and we are agnostic to your selection of third-party service providers including custodians.”

– Michael Frank

Company CEO, Jigar Vyas, believes in the strongest levels of security to protect client data. All the data entered into the system is encrypted. Additionally, Invessence uses firewalls to control and monitor access to the data. Multifactor authentication is another key to the platform’s security. Invessence uses a LexisNexis-type technology through DocuSign and other custodians. With the aim of addressing the specific security requests of each client, Invessence goes beyond a traditional tech stack when the need arises.

Strong Partnerships as the Key to Success

Since its inception, Invessenсe has developed strategic alliances with many industry leaders including custodians, data aggregators, and other software providers to offer comprehensive customization to its end users.

In 2016, Invessence partnered with several financial firms in their quest to offer comprehensive solutions for advisors. Invessence offered its technological expertise to a market leader, Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management, to enable the financial services firm to reach out to a larger audience through a custom platform called $ymbil. Invessence has built on this first step to establish its successful business through a series of partnerships with key market players.

Another partnership agreement is with Tradition Capital Management, with whom Invessence created Building Benjamins (www.BuildingBenjamins.com), a fully automated online investing engine that would offer both low-cost ETFs and mutual funds directly to investors.

Invessence completed another deal with TD Ameritrade. This enabled the integration of Invessence’s platforms for advisors with Veo, the in-house trading and account management platform of TD Ameritrade. With white-label offerings from Invessence, advisors are able to increase efficiency by automating account opening, portfolio construction, and account management in a streamlined end-to-end solution.

In 2017, Invessence’s management committed to accelerating its product implementation by partnering with EureQa, a company that offers an all-in-one platform to perform software tests. By implementing its testing processes with EureQa, Invessence managed to automate UI, along with functional and performance testing. The resulting greater efficiency allows Invessence to focus its resources squarely on customers’ onboarding and to deliver platforms with much greater speed and efficiency.

Product Snapshot

Invessence believes in creating greater value through its products. To do this, it offers an API-service-based architecture that enables the company to scale its business by adding more service packs on top of each other, thereby enlarging the existing system.

“Everything really starts with the customer. We spend a lot of time with prospects figuring out what their requirements are, and then we focus on delivery and tracking.”

– Prashant Mehta

The majority of platform components are created using Java, with other technologies used where needed. The company has built its product line around three major components:

ADVISOR CENTER Access for the advisor to track and monitor all activity within the system. An open architecture engine with lead-generation alerts and client data analytics, as well as automated trading and rebalancing. The platform has options for both taxable and nontaxable account allocation and tax optimization strategies.
INVESTMENT MATRIX A powerful engine that works to automate the investing process for both advisors and investors. For advisors, less time is spent on operational tasks allowing them to manage a greater range of account sizes. For investors, a personalized investment portfolio is created based on their own unique needs.
CLIENT PORTAL An interface that allows investors to create portfolios based on their specific goals and level of risk tolerance. Account management is accessible via tablet or mobile device including a customized mobile app. Clients can easily access account balances, portfolio holdings, performance results, and statements.

Both the AdvisorGo and AdvisorCustom platforms can accommodate the most sophisticated investment strategies. Two commonly used strategies include:

  • Model Portfolios: The advisor determines a fixed number of portfolios that are recommended based on a client’s inputs to a questionnaire
  • Optimized Portfolios: This more advanced model uses Markowitz/MPT to create unlimited dynamic portfolios that adjust as the client fine tunes their inputs to a questionnaire

Invessence boasts integrations with a number of strategic partners. For example, ties with Morningstar, CFI Data, and FIS help the company to collect prices for the system. When it comes to custody and clearing trades, connections with TD Ameritrade, Interactive Brokers, and Gemini systems come into play. On the aggregation front, Invessence has partnered with MX and Yodlee. Redtail Technology and Salesforce are the company’s CRM picks.

The Invessence architecture is based on the Spring Framework. In order to interact with the external system, the company uses ReST to channel data back and forth. Invessence also uses databases such as MySQL.

Utilizing Agile, Invessence has teams in both the US and India, with team members conducting daily calls to update and to plan for future tasks. Along with a to-do list, the team discusses issues according to a red/amber/green status metric.

Quality assurance is automated using the expertise of EureQa, which conducts full-fledged testing for Invessence products, including pre-UAT, identifying issues with development, and record testing against all clients. Invessence management keeps current about meaningful features and metrics that will improve the user experience and give the firm a competitive advantage.

Invessence

Invessence uses an assortment of data, sourcing it from a variety of third parties both in the U.S. and globally. In 2016, the company joined forces with MX, which offers unified financial insights to allow advisory firms that use Invessence products to get a 360-degree view of where their clients stand financially, in both managed and non-managed accounts. In this way, the ability to provide sound financial planning and risk assessment increases, with better visibility offered for non-managed accounts.

Bringing more value through mobile, Invessence has created custom smartphone applications for advisors, allowing their clients to manage investments and accounts on the go. The app has become a powerful extension of an advisor’s practice that provides a dynamic user experience for their clients.

Glassdoor: Inside Invessence

The diverse team at Invessence is able to bring innovation worldwide, working from anywhere on the globe.

“We always seek the right person who’s going to fit with the team, praise diversity, and promote a positive company culture.”

 – Jigar Vyas

The company’s corporate culture revolves around broad independence with no micromanaging. The senior management is confident that geographical restrictions present no problems in a modern workspace. The team takes full advantage of various telecommunications technology to connect with each other from anywhere.

“As the world grows smaller because of all the communication technology we have today, the talent pool out there becomes enormous.”  

– Michael Frank

WealthTech Club’s Takeaway

Invessence has mastered the art of smart investing practices by listening to the specific needs of their clients when building a product. By doing so, they understand the true challenges their clients face and through a flexible product they provide a solution that suits the needs of a broad range of clients globally.

By offering their turnkey platform, AdvisorGo, Invessence provides a cost-effective automated investment solution perfect for small firms that want an immediate presence on the cutting edge of FinTech.

AdvisorCustom provides firms the ability to deliver a truly customized FinTech product that enables them to bring their investment ideas to the forefront in the wealth management marketplace, allowing them to retain current clients while attracting new ones.

Invessence has empowered advisors of all sizes to do business more efficiently and harness the potential emerging power of digital technology to attract investors of both current and future generations. Invessence is a great example of how a diverse team, working with strategic partners, can deliver a complex yet personalized product to a broad range of global clients.