[Investment News] Dynasty Financial selects BridgeFT as primary data aggregation provider

Dynasty has acquired a minority stake in BridgeFT and appointed its chief technology officer, Frank Coates, to serve on the fintech’s board.

Dynasty Financial Partners is turning to a relatively new name in the wealth fintech space to power its wealth technology suite.

BridgeFT, a cloud-native digital infrastructure software company, will be the primary provider of data from multiple custodians to tech integrated across the Dynasty Network. Dynasty’s platform serves 49 registered investment advisors and $72 billion in assets.

Along with the partnership, Dynasty has acquired a minority stake in BridgeFT and appointed its chief technology officer, Frank Coates, to serve on the fintech’s board.

BridgeFT began as a portfolio management provider for registered investment advisors, but was built on top of a legacy aggregation platform that was causing problems with data from custodians, said Joe Stensland, CEO of BridgeFT. In 2020, the company decided to build its own and move over existing RIA clients, resulting in what Stensland called a remarkable improvement in the business.

The company decided to pivot to focus on providing custodial data to RIAs, fintech startups and larger financial institutions. Over the past year, 80% of sales have been enterprise deals like with Dynasty, and the average contract value has increased 300%, Stensland said.

While there are other data aggregators in the market, they often come attached to other fintech capabilities, such as financial planning software with eMoney, or portfolio management and reporting with Orion Advisor Services and Morningstar. BridgeFT’s WealthTech API is focused purely on providing data, allowing internal engineers at firms like Dynasty to build proprietary technology without individual feeds from a variety of custodians and back-office providers.  

“Dynasty will never differentiate by building their own multicustodial aggregation,” Stensland said, comparing his company’s WealthTech API to payment processing tech like Stripe used by new retail stores. “They build their own storefront, but behind them they have the same checkout system.”

This is a reason Dynasty selected BridgeFT to be one of its most important core data partnerships, said co-founder and chief operating officer Ed Swenson. Wealth fintech is evolving away from specific features and functionality to focus on how firms can use data to build tools advisors can’t find elsewhere, he added.

“The business model has been in the past to gather data and provide a user interface, a bridge to advisors with functionality and features,” Swenson said. “We can do that on our own. We just want that pure data.”

By giving engineers access to direct data from custodians without any attached functionality, Dynasty hopes to create new technology that helps it stand out to advisor and clients.

“Innovative and creative [technology] in the marketplace, which will help us drive sales, client retention and happiness,” Swenson said. “Dynasty has the scale and size and engineering talent to do this.”

With Coates, BridgeFT’s board is getting someone with an extensive history of working with wealth management data. Coates joined Dynasty in 2021 from Envestnet, where he was executive managing director and co-group president of the data and analytics group.

The partnership is Dynasty’s second significant technology play this month. The company recently announced it would acquire the technology assets of TruClarity to help wirehouse brokers transition to independence.  

By Ryan W. Neal