Digital wealth management fintech Marstone announced the second close of a $5 million Series A financing round Monday — half of which came from Coral Gables, Florida-based Amerant Bank.
The $2.5 million investment from Amerant brings Marstone’s total funding to more than $20 million, and follows a multiyear agreement the community bank made with Marstone this year, the companies said. As part of the deal, Amerant will nominate one director to serve on Marstone’s board.
- "We are excited to make this investment in Marstone and support its mission to make financial planning more attainable for everyone," Jerry Plush, Amerant's vice chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "Marstone’s platform allows us to offer our customers a highly personalized, thoughtful and specialized experience. We look forward to further developing our relationship as Marstone continues to create an industry-leading financial ecosystem."
The pandemic has led to an acceleration of every institution’s digital roadmap, including an interest in providing digital wealth management services to customers, said Margaret Hartigan, Marstone's co-founder and CEO.
"The interest and demand we are seeing from all financial firms — asset managers, banks, community banks, credit unions, insurance companies, and benefit providers — is enormous," Hartigan said. "Firms see platforms like ours as cost-effective partners in extending their brand identity, acquiring new clients and assets, increasing revenue or wallet share and reducing back-office expenses."
Marstone, which was founded in 2013, works with community banks, registered investment advisers, asset management companies and custodians, Hartigan said. Marstone’s clients include Fiserv, BlackRock and HSBC.
"We always recommend that organizations start quickly and optimize a lot of our core platform before configuring too much," Hartigan said. "If they do this, we can stand up a client in 45 days."
Hartigan said Providence, Rhode Island-based Marstone is a fit for any type of institution because it offers tools for both clients and advisers.
"We also have three engagement models giving banks flexibility and choice to how they use the platform," she said. "Some banks do not currently offer wealth management and want to take advantage of our solutions as a service offering. Others want us to be a sub-adviser, and others want us to be their technology partner."
Amerant declined to comment on the deal, citing that the bank is in a quiet period.
Several other banks have made wealth management-related investments in recent months.
SVB Financial Group, the parent company of Silicon Valley Bank, agreed in January to buy Boston Private Financial Holdings for approximately $900 million in cash and stock.
More recently, JPMorgan Chase announced Tuesday that it plans to purchase San Francisco-based OpenInvest for an undisclosed sum.
OpenInvest, which helps financial professionals customize and report on values-based investments, will retain its own brand and be integrated into JPMorgan Chase's private bank and wealth management client offerings, the companies said.