What’s The Difference Between A TAMP And A Robo?

What’s The Difference Between A TAMP And A Robo?

In recent years, “robo advisors” have been pivoting to serve financial advisors instead of looking to compete with them. Except, the reality is that many of the tools in the hands of advisors are ultimately just doing onboarding paperwork (account openings and transfers), or investing portfolios to models and then rebalancing them… which financial advisors already often do, either using technology (e.g., custodian platforms and rebalancing tools) or outsource to a TAMP for support. Which means ultimately, a “robo” is becoming little more than internal technology to do what most TAMPs already do, as the two converge on each other – with the one major distinction that with a TAMP, the advisor actually outsources responsibility for asset management duties (by delegating them), while robo-rebalancing tools still leave the responsibility on the advisor’s shoulders to implement (albeit with a lot of automation to make it as easy as possible). On the other hand, it’s also notable that when the advisor retains responsibility, the advisor is arguably the one “delivering the value”, while with an outsourced TAMP, functionally the TAMP delivers the value and the advisor is effectively “selling” a packaged investment product (and perhaps or hopefully adding additional advisory services on the side). In other words, automating trading tasks still means being responsible for getting them done and not fully delegating them, which arguably puts the advisor in a different position in the client value proposition. Though, as Veres notes, the dividing line is getting fuzzier and fuzzier. Especially as TAMPs become more flexible – and therefore less pure delegation – at the same time that the technology makes it easier to automate it all anyway.

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