How Morningstar’s $28 million acquisition of ByAllAccounts will change account aggregation (or not)

5 Responses to “How Morningstar’s $28 million acquisition of ByAllAccounts will change account aggregation (or not)”

  1. Russ Thornton April 2, 2014 11:30 am

    Also check out Wealth Access ( – not scrubbed reconciliation-ready data, but a nice aggregation platform for advisors and their clients

  2. Bill Winterberg April 2, 2014 11:36 am

    That’s right, Wealth Access does offer reports fed by aggregated account data, once again populated by a combination of Yodlee and ByAllAccounts.

    I covered the solution in September 2012 for Morningstar:

  3. Ben Birken April 2, 2014 3:56 pm

    I agree with the philosophy of not hammering performance/performance/performance every quarter. But there is value of being able to (easily) enter held-away assets into performance reporting software (particularly if that’s where the majority of a client’s assets are located), not so much as to say, “Look how well we’re doing!” but rather as a check on the return/volatility assumptions you might have made about a client’s long-term plan. Maybe you only show a client performance once a year, but internally you might want to check and see how well reality matches up with your models.

  4. John Luciano April 2, 2014 4:31 pm

    Bill, you have always been keen on aggregation. Thank you for continually shining the light on the service.

    The Yodlee / MGP play is interesting. What I’m going to look for is what happens when the advisors wants that Yodlee data flowing out of MGP and down into other software. Does MGP act as a master of data flow pushing data downstream? Not today. Maybe tomorrow. Does the MGP / Yodlee integration include the ability for the advisor to aggregate advisor level accounts? I do not believe Yodlee – a consumer driven application – has started down that path. And while not all advisors need transaction level detail on held-away accounts for the purpose of running performance, what about when you want to monitor whether or not your client is following your advice and making adjustments in the held-away accounts (what Ben Birken mentions above). Will Yodlee push transactions into a planning system? We will see. Even if they do, anyone familiar with aggregation knows raw transaction level detail in investment accounts is incomplete. Making that transaction element complete is where Aqumulate, and BAA, have excelled.

    When it comes to Intuit, how is an advisor getting data from that system?

  5. Scott Parry April 3, 2014 12:32 pm

    Bill, Your question at the end of your article is the question of the day: why did ByAllAccounts sell now? I think you lay out the reason in your article, but I think there was also something else at play.

    You are correct, Financial Planning software does not really need reconciled aggregated data to add value to the planning process, it’s nice to have the higher accuracy, but is not going to blow up the plan if it is not. Yodlee or Cash Edge data is most likely perfectly fine, its cheaper and will get the job done, hence why financial planning providers like MoneyGuidePro & SunGard can use that data for their financial planning applications.

    But if financial advisors are going to start making portfolio changes and pushing out trades based on the holdings data through an aggregation service, it better be “statement-ready” correct.

    So maybe BAA got stuck in the middle between the low-cost commodity providers and the high-end expensive providers, which is never a good place to be in any business. Too expensive to compete with Yodlee, but not good enough to compete with the high-end providers who can deliver statement-ready data?

    There’s an interesting dynamic going on when it comes to performance reporting, interest in it is actually picking up steam with SunGard’s clients. It’s just really difficult to create accurate client performance reports using aggregated data on held-away assets, and therefore it can be expensive, so while many have given up on trying to get it right, the larger FIs who have the money to get it right are investing there. First Rate, SunGard’s main performance reporting partner, has teamed up with OpenFinance, and we believe this could be the best combo of aggregation and performance reporting today, and are seeing an increase in interest among our clients to spend $s to integrate that combo with InvestorsView, SunGard’s portfolio management system, to get that holy-grail of total-portfolio performance.

    Hope that helps.

    Scott Parry
    EVP – SunGard WealthStation