Morgan Stanley Wealth Management announced this week that advisors now have full access to what has been named the AI @ Morgan Stanley Assistant, built from OpenAI’s GPT-4 large language model.

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in March announced it was only “one of a handful” of organizations receiving early access to OpenAI’s GPT-4. The news coincided with OpenAI’s announcement that it was releasing the next iteration of its wildly popular GPT-3 artificial intelligence model. At the time, GPT-4 was still not widely available, and Morgan Stanley Wealth Management was “the only strategic client in wealth management” able to use it, according to the company.

With the tool, Morgan Stanley advisors can ask questions and receive answers incorporating the firm’s internal data. Links to source documents are also provided.

The company stated the main types of questions advisors have asked the tool during testing were research-based (including the outlook on federal rate hikes), administrative (like how to open an IRA for a client) and specialized knowledge that’s outside the regular scope of an advisor (such as how to help a client prepare for marriage).

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management has other ongoing AI projects as well, including a focus on advisor workflow and client and prospect communications.

Many firms have been at work on similar projects over the last year with some having launched specifically for independent advisors, SIFA for example, while others were meant for asset managers or large enterprises, which would include Portrait Analytics, Toggle, Alkymi, or Cognicor, among others (such as Morningstar). 

DPL Financial Partners Acquires AnnuityFix

Insurance management platform provider DPL Financial Partners announced Wednesday it acquired AnnuityFix and its affiliated broker/dealer, Johnstone Brokerage Services.

DPL Financial appointed AnnuityFix’s founder, Grant Johnstone, as chief compliance officer and chief legal officer. The firm’s employees will join DPL.

The acquisition will be finalized pending regulatory approval and terms of the deal were not disclosed.

It is hoped that the acquisition will “enhance” and “create expanded capacity” for DPL’s Breakaway Accelerator program, which launched in late 2022. That program helps financial advisors to transition their legacy annuity business to a fee-based business model, with the goal of enabling many to go completely independent, according to DPL. The program provides advisors transitioning to a fee-only model with the ability to evaluate each client’s annuity holdings to determine whether it is beneficial for them to exchange them for one of the commission-free products on the DPL platform.

DPL is a membership organization and fees are determined by a firm’s AUM. More than 3,500 RIA firms currently have access to DPL’s insurance marketplace. DPL also partnered with SS&C Advent/Black Diamond in August of 2021 to launch an insurance marketplace.

SMArtX Advisory Solutions To Launch SMArtY Platform With Russell Investments’ Model Portfolios

SMArtX Advisory Solutions announced a collaboration with Russell Investments as the inaugural asset management firm to offer its investment strategies through the new SMArtY platform announced in July.

The slimmed-down version of the SMArtX platform, called SMartY, is a free managed account platform for advisory firms that is sponsored by product providers. While it has not yet launched (expected for Sept. 28), advisors can sign up on a waitlist.

Under the hood, advisors will find award-winning managed accounts technology tools, including asset allocation and a new portfolio construction tool (UMAi), as well as intra-day trading (SMArtX has integrations with eight custodians), tax transition and harvesting, billing services and access to “some of the world’s largest and most reputable asset managers’ models,” according to the firm. SMArtY will provide client account reporting down to the sleeve level, performance reporting, as well as sleeve-level reconciliation when it launches.

SMArtX closed a Series D funding round in May 2022, with a $30 million investment from Morningstar Investment Management, the unit of Morningstar that provides discretionary investment management and advisory services. That investment followed a November 2021 announcement that Morningstar would begin using SMArtX’s unified managed account technology to power its turnkey asset management platform (and still does).


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