WealthTech Insights #67 with Brian McLaughlin. What can Replace All-in-one Solutions?

Are all-in-one solutions a good idea? What are real-time integrations, and how can they be used?

Interview with Brian McLaughlin,
CEO of Redtail

To go all in or not to go all in?

Figuring out a financial strategy is hard enough, but advisors have to worry about different tools and technologies that are being pitched to them as “super effective” and “super efficient.”

Some tech firms offer advisors all-in-one solutions. The premise is that if everything is in one place, daily routines and workflows will go more smoothly with significantly lower software expenses. Brian isn’t a big believer in all-in-one solutions because they’re difficult to manage and might result in mediocre products. Long story short, all-in-one solutions aren’t easy to get right.

It is possible to have an all-in-one FinTech company that builds and maintains its own solutions. The problem Brian highlights in this case is that one cannot be an expert in all of these tools and technologies. Again, it is possible to build two or more pieces of software and become experts in both. But what happens when resources are limited?

“I feel like even if I spent the energy and brought on a team to build another software component, it’s always two companies that will be battling each other for who gets the resources. How do we spin up innovation properly, and how [do] we operate it in parallel?”

This first scenario is optimal, but there’s also a second way to build comprehensive solutions: consolidation. Instead of hiring tens—maybe hundreds—of developers, companies are buying and merging with other FinTech firms. One example is Envestment, who bought PIEtech and MoneyGuide to bolster its financial planning technologies. This is a good strategy, if you can afford it; Envestment’s acquisition cost $500 million.

For Brian, there’s no need to delve into other spaces. Redtail is a CRM—central hub built to improve the practical efficiency of running a business. Brian’s focus is building out with integrations where they are needed. Redtail does have email and document sharing tools that are critical for managing clients and prospects, but Brian and his team also integrate with a number of other companies including Smarsh and Laserfiche.

Real-time integrations

Currently, the industry is crisscrossed with integrations that provide ways for companies and services to communicate with each other. So, instead of an all-in-one solution, it’s possible to exchange data through “push-pull” work. One company gives data, the other receives data, and vice-versa.

“The majority of the exchanged data is client-driven: ‘Oh, I want to send this to financial planning.’ Okay, click, it sends it.”

Brian is changing this model by adopting webhooks and other technologies that allow Redtail to send changes to data in real time and simultaneously update the information across all platforms. An example Brian highlights is if a client’s last name is changed in the integrated financial planning tool, the CRM and other tools will grab this information and auto-update its own database.

Brian calls these real-time updates a synchronization engine. Although this process is easy for one-to-one integrations, it becomes tricky when it is necessary to add another modular component (this can be thought of as Lego bricks). Redtail has already developed a way to sync Office 365 data fields in real-time with Retriever Cloud. Essentially, Retriever Cloud is an intermediary among APIs that compares data structures in real-time and makes sure they are all the same.

“I definitely see synchronization as the next step to getting these integrations to become real-time integrations to get that feel of the best-in-class product advisors want.”


Advisors are often attracted to all-in-one offerings because, frankly, they’re attractive. All the tools you want in one neat little package. However, it is rare for a single company to be experts in every aspect of finance. Therefore, the optimal route is integrations. Right now, Redtail is pushing the limits of integrations by developing what Brian calls real-time integrations, a way to bridge the data gap.


Brian McLaughlin is the CEO of Redtail Technology, a provider of CRM solutions for financial services firms. It handles specific challenges like log reporting, filing changes, and data synchronization. The firm recently launched its artificial intelligence solution as well as compliant texting platform, Redtail Speak. Today, Brian focuses on growing the firm and expanding its offerings.

Brian McLaughlin, Redtail



Interviewed by Vasyl Soloshchuk, CEO and co-owner at INSART, FinTech engineering company. Vasyl is also the author of WealthTech Club, which conducts research into Fortune and Startup Robo-advisor and Wealth Management companies in terms of the technology ecosystem.

Robert Seidman

Offering Manager at IBM Watson Financial Services

WealthTech Insights #71 with Rob Seidman. Commoditized Infrastructure Becomes Requisite to Focus on Customers’ Needs

What if wealth management companies were unburdened from infrastructure concerns and instead could conquer the cutting edge? With Rob Seidman, Offering Manager at Watson Financial Services, we discuss artificial intelligence,…

Robert Seidman

Offering Manager at IBM Watson Financial Services

WealthTech Insights #70 with Rob Seidman. Should a Wealth Management Firm Do Cybersecurity?

With Robert Seidman, Offering Manager at IBM Watson Financial Services, we discuss data security issue in WealthTech. Should they rely on counterparties to secure systems and data or tackle cybersecurity…

Robert Kirk

Founder & CEO of InterGen Data, Inc.

WealthTech Insights #69 with Robert Kirk. Use Cases for AI Data Analysis: Marketing and Early Warning of Life Events

With Robert Kirk, Founder & CEO of InterGen Data, we discuss whether AI can help advisors more accurately predict a life event and generate better marketing to drive more onboarding…

Brian McLaughlin

CEO of Redtail

WealthTech Insights #68 with Brian McLaughlin. Artificial Intelligence in Fintech – No Longer Just Hype

The AI revolution is coming in the form of machine-learning algorithms such as chatbots and smart data extrapolation, which can be used to analyze information and provide insights. Brian McLaughlin,…

Anders Jones

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of Facet Wealth

WealthTech Insights #66 with Anders Jones. A Sneak Peek Into the Future of Finance and FinTech

With Anders Jones, CEO of Facet Wealth, we talk about the future of finance and FinTech. What troubles may robo-advisers bring and why the move to complete planning approach is…

Hailin Li

CEO and Founder of Advyzon

WealthTech Insights #65 with Hailin Li. How Can WealthTech Companies Stay Afloat in the Growing Market?

Technology and increased demand for features are driving change. Will you sink or swim? With Hailin Li, CEO and Founder of Advyzon, we discuss how WealthTech companies use AI and…

Walter Vester

CEO at Huygens Capital

WealthTech Insights #64 with Walter Vester. How an AI-Empowered Crisis Signal Can Improve Wealth-Management Services

Technologies were invented to empower humans to do something beyond their natural abilities. If WealthTech can deliver such differentiated services, advisors will get the perfect mixture of robo and human…

Keith Gregg

Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Chalice Wealth Partners

WealthTech Insights #63 with Keith Gregg. What Trends Will We See in the Finance World over the Next 10 Years?

With Keith Gregg, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Chalice Wealth Partners, we discuss how the demographic shift is affecting advisors. While clients are getting increasingly younger, the aging population of…