OpenFin, the operating system (OS) of finance, has raised $17 million in Series C funding from major banks and leading FinTech investors. The funding round was led by Wells Fargo with participation from Barclays and existing investors including Bain Capital Ventures, J.P. Morgan and Pivot Investment Partners. The Series C round brings OpenFin’s total amount of venture funding to $40 million. Proceeds from the financing will be used to make OpenFin OS ubiquitous on financial desktops and to fund further product innovation. This includes OpenFin’s new Cloud Services offering, which enables banks, asset managers, wealth managers and hedge funds to provide their own private app stores for employees and customers out of the box.
The global financial services industry is spending billions in addressing the digital transformation of thousands of legacy desktop applications used for client service centers, front office, operations, risk and compliance. OpenFin’s widely adopted desktop operating system enables financial services firms to build new applications with modern web technology while enabling seamless and secure integration with legacy applications. This allows these firms to modernize and unify the end-user desktop experience while extracting the greatest possible value from their existing technology investments.
“Apple and Google’s mobile operating systems and app stores have enabled more than a million apps that have fundamentally changed how we live,” said Mazy Dar, CEO and Co-Founder of OpenFin. “OpenFin OS and our new app store services enable the next generation of desktop apps that are transforming how we work in financial services.”
OpenFin OS has become a de facto market standard for deployment and interoperability of desktop apps to power digital transformation across the industry. Its customers include most major banks, leading asset management firms and many of the best known vendor platforms in the space. The operating system software runs more than 1,000 applications at more than 1,500 banks and buy-side firms across 200,000 desktops in 60+ countries.
“We have been following OpenFin’s progress and are impressed by the company’s success in gaining wide adoption in capital markets. OpenFin is leading a key effort in providing the financial industry with a modern and unifying foundation for development and secure distribution of financial applications,” said Basil Darwish, Managing Director, Strategic Investments at Wells Fargo Securities. “We are delighted to lead OpenFin’s Series C funding round and excited to support the next phase of their development.”
“Agility and interoperability are core pillars of our digital strategy because time is a precious resource, especially in a banking environment. OpenFin accelerates our innovation cycle and allows us to create better workflows, enabling our colleagues and clients to make more productive use of their time,” said Brett Tejpaul, Head of Digital and Client Strategy at Barclays Investment Bank. “We are pleased to support the company which is a leader in the industry with its open source model and its commitment to industry collaboration.”
“OpenFin is building the roads, bridges and communications infrastructure for financial apps that will allow capital markets to innovate like Silicon Valley,” said Matt Harris, Partner at Bain Capital Ventures. “We are proud to have been early backers of the company and we welcome the strategic support from Barclays, J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo.”
OpenFin has significant network effects in financial services as a result of its wide adoption which, in turn, is fueling innovation and accelerating a generational shift in how applications are developed, distributed and maintained. The company also sees tremendous opportunities for their technology in adjacent industries.
SEC Qualifies DiversyFund to Drop Investment Minimums for Real Estate Fund to $500
DiversyFund, a financial tech company providing everyday Americans with the same investment opportunities as the wealthy, announced today it has received qualification from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to lower the minimum amount required to invest in its commercial real estate investment trust (REIT) to $500.
DiversyFund’s Growth REIT is a fund that allows everyday people to invest in multiple value-add apartment complexes, meaning apartments in need of upgrades. These improvements may include everything from new flooring to putting in a dog park – each enhancement adds more value to the properties than the cost of making the upgrades. About one year after DiversyFund purchases a property, it begins generating cashflow from rents. Then, after 4-6 years, the company is able to sell the apartment complex, typically for substantially more than the purchase price, generating returns for investors.
Historically, to invest in a private, non-traded commercial REIT like this one, individuals had to have a net worth of at least $1 million (excluding primary residence) or an income exceeding $200,000 over the prior two years ($300,000with a spouse). The invest minimum typically required to participate in these deals would range from tens of thousands to around $250,000.
“We believe that everyone deserves the choice to build their wealth,” said Craig Cecilio, co-founder and CEO of DiversyFund. “During my 20 years of experience managing more than $500 million in assets, I continuously saw the wealthy getting in on deals that weren’t accessible to the average person. After years of watching the rich get richer, I was determined to find a way to include the everyday person in these incredible investment opportunities and leverage technology to make investing simple.”
“We went through a rigorous screening process with the SEC to gain the qualification we needed to open up access to these exclusive deals and make investment minimums affordable for everyday Americans,” said Cecilio. We’re thrilled we can now give people the choice to invest for as little as $500. We’re ready to grow our community of next generation investors and start closing the wealth gap plaguing our society.”
DiversyFund doesn’t charge any platform or management fees and has eliminated third party costs by cutting out all of the middle men and managing every process internally, from purchase to sell. DiversyFund doesn’t make money until its investors make money – after the sale of the properties.
Vestmark Honored with Silver Stevie® Award at 2019 American Business Awards® Gala
Vestmark is proud to have received the Silver Stevie® Award in the FinTech Solution category as part of the 17th Annual American Business Awards®, in recognition of the VestmarkONE®platform’s recently launched advanced options trading and risk management module.
Mark Peabody, Senior Vice President of Product Management, accepted the award on Vestmark’s behalf at this year’s American Business Awards gala last week at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
This options module, available on the VestmarkONE® platform, provides an innovative trading and risk management capability that enables advisors to scale options trading and more efficiently use options strategies across all types of advisory programs. With this tool, hundreds or even thousands of accounts – across an entire book of business – can be traded at once, without impacting accounts following models, avoiding false rebalancing alerts and model drift notifications. The module also includes several automated risk management functions to help advisors and firms balance the risk of trading options. For more details, visit https://www.vestmark.com/solutions/vestmark-one/options-trading-and-risk-management.
Over 3,800 nominations of public, private, for-profit, and non-profit U.S. organizations of all sizes, and from a wide variety of industries, were submitted to American Business Awards® categories this year. More than 200 professionals worldwide participated in the judging process to select this year’s Stevie Award® winners. For a full list of 2019 Stevie Award® winners, and to obtain more information about the American Business Awards®, visit https://stevieawards.com/aba.
In selecting the VestmarkONE® platform for its award, the panel of judges lauded the platform as an “impressive product and innovative usage of technology,” and described “VestmarkONE’s New Options Module, one of the best products in its category that allows users to provide options trading across platforms.”
“I commend our teams at Vestmark for their ongoing commitment to developing and enhancing leading edge technology solutions for financial advisors and institutions,” said John Lunny, CEO of Vestmark. “This innovative options trading and risk management module in the VestmarkONE® platform makes it possible to scale the implementation of sophisticated portfolio management strategies for clients and accounts of all sizes. We are honored that our peers recognize the impact this innovation can have on the wealth management industry.”
Carson Crosses $10 Billion in Assets; Sets Sights on Deepening Value to Partner Firms
Carson Group, one of the fastest growing financial services firms in the country, today announced the firm has surpassed $10 billion in assets under management. Hitting this milestone highlights Carson’s status as a top-ranked RIA and coincides with several other recent breakthroughs for the organization.
- Carson Partners, which include 108 firms and nearly 230 advisors within its ecosystem, now collectively serves more than 27,000 families across the U.S.
- Signed net new assets from incoming advisors have risen to $1.45 billion year-to-date.
- 215 Carson stakeholders now support the firm’s various advisor coaching and partnership offerings, 49 have joined in 2019 alone.
- The organization will begin construction this month on its 200,000-square-foot, Omaha-based headquarters, which is slated for completion in late 2020.
“This has been a monumental month for the entire Carson family; not only in memorializing how far we’ve come in the last decade with asset growth but also in what we’re doing now to prepare for the next chapter,” said Ron Carson, founder and CEO of Carson Group. “We’re laying the groundwork for what I believe will be a 100-year company. We’re not plotting a quick and profitable exit or looking to sell; we’re building something bigger than ourselves here. Something we intend will forever change the world of financial advice for the better.”
Carson is constantly looking to expand and improve the ecosystem it offers partner firms. By doing so, it’s experienced tremendous growth in a time of change in the profession. From the recent Regulation Best Interest Rule to industry consolidation and an aging advisor population, the organization provides financial advisors a path to navigate disruption.
Due to Carson’s fast-paced growth, proactive moves are being made, including a plan to hire between 30 and 40 additional stakeholders through the end of 2019, releasing further iterations of client-facing technology and tools to enhance the experience advisors are providing, and expanding departmental support to ensure advisors are well-equipped to take advantage of the competitive landscape for attracting new business.
“We aim to build – and become – that fast-growing, innovative hub for financial services, because we know our competitive advantage is that we can move faster and do more for our clients, for less,” said Aaron Schaben, Executive Vice President of Carson. “Every decision we’re making right now – and every new partner we consider – must always bring us a step closer to doing what’s right for our clients. Advisors are seeing Carson deliver on that promise, and that is what most excites me as we look ahead to our future growth.”
In addition to being a mainstay in the Barron’s annual list of top wealth management firms, Carson Group remains among the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies, has been recognized for two consecutive years by InvestmentNews as a top-50 firm for Best Places to Work for Financial Advisors, and was awarded a Best Places to Work in FinTech by American Banker.
SOURCE Carson Group
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