401(K) Fintech Platform Pontera Announces Integration With Envestnet

The move is another in a long line of recent partnerships with some of the biggest players in wealth management that the 401(K) fintech platform has announced over the last two years.


Illustration by RIA Intel

Pontera, a tech platform that helps advisors compliantly manage and trade client retirement assets in held-away accounts, announced an integration today with software wealth management giant Envestnet.

The announcement is the latest in a long line of recent integrations between Pontera and some of the biggest wealth management players, including Carson Group, Morningstar, Orion, and Dynasty. It comes following a $80 million capital fundraise announced in February 2022, which accompanied a name change from FeeX to Pontera.

FeeX was originally started with the goal of providing transparency on advisory, investment, and expense-ratio fees for retirement savers. But Dave Goldman, chief business officer at Pontera, told RIA Intel that the company pivoted its business model five years ago to become a secure marketplace where advisors could manage their clients’ 401(K)s and other held-away retirement accounts without gaining custody of those assets.

“I think consumers are [telling] their advisors to find ways to create value for them — they’re worried about retirement,” Goldman said. “And in wealth management, there’s been this shift to comprehensive advisory services. We’re a piece of [an advisor’s] ability to provide comprehensive services on assets that otherwise [were often] overlooked or underserved.”

Typically, advisors don’t have a compliant way to easily manage or provide advice about these assets, which can amount to 20 to 30 percent of a client’s portfolio, Goldman said.

Pontera, which charges a flat annual subscription fee of 30 basis points, functions as a secure intermediary site that facilitates the compliant management of held-away retirement assets but doesn’t provide direct access to those assets. “It only allows [advisors] to review [and] rebalance the account,” Goldman said. “It doesn’t allow the advisor to see client credentials, and it doesn’t allow the advisor to change an address or update beneficiaries.”

Goldman said that Pontera doesn’t disclose the number of assets or advisors on the platform, but he did say that the firms it serves number in the thousands. Envestnet, which alone is used by more than 6,500 firms and 108,000 financial advisors managing more than $5.5 trillion in assets, is no stranger to the retirement plan space. In 2022, it bought advisory-focused, retirement marketplace 401kplans.com for an undisclosed amount. Goldman said that the integration with Envestnet was in beta testing for about nine months and officially went live in January.

Part of the success of the company, Goldman said, is that the platform is built to serve any advisor that has a client with a 401(K), and it also has the ability to serve the entire advisory space. “What we’re really doing is enabling choice,” he explained. “If you’re a client and you want help [with held-away retirement assets], we truly believe that you should be able to get the help from the advisor that you’ve chosen to work with.”

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