ICONIQ Growth backs fintech’s efforts to expand access to comprehensive wealth management services for 401(k) participants
NEW YORK, Dec. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Pontera, the fintech company enabling 401(k) participants to receive comprehensive wealth management services by personal financial advisors, has secured $60 million in a funding round led by ICONIQ Growth. This investment raises Pontera’s total funding to $160 million, reinforcing its commitment to address the widespread neglect of workplace retirement accounts held by 85 million Americans—a critical element of the U.S. retirement crisis.
After more than quadrupling revenue since its last fundraise announced in February 2022, Pontera welcomed ICONIQ Growth as a new investor in an up round with additional participation from prior investors Blumberg Capital, Collaborative Fund, Hanaco Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and The Founders Kitchen.
“We are proud to support the Pontera team as they empower advisors to help their clients feel more financially secure and retire with greater wealth,” said Yoonkee Sull, General Partner at ICONIQ Growth. “Pontera is addressing a growing market need with a solution that benefits the entire retirement ecosystem through a proven approach for financial advisors to compliantly and more effectively manage workplace retirement assets.”
Thousands of financial advisors are now leveraging Pontera’s platform to overcome operational hurdles to securely and compliantly manage 401(k), 403(b) and other retirement plan assets as a critical part of their clients’ wealth.
Jeremy Abfalter, an Arizona resident, describes his challenges before his financial advisor at Ironwood Wealth Management invited him to the Pontera platform: “I would sign up for a 401(k) through my company… I just didn’t feel as comfortable trying to pick [plan] options by myself without having any knowledge or experience in doing it.”
Now receiving professional help by his advisor, facilitated via Pontera, he reports: “Having the peace of mind knowing that there are experts at Ironwood who are managing our 401(k) makes it a lot easier for me and stress free.”
Studies have consistently shown that the majority of 401(k) plan participants desire more comprehensive assistance with retirement planning, and that a professionally-managed portfolio can generate up to 4% additional annual net returns. However, as over one third of workers seek professional help, financial advisors have historically struggled to manage the entirety of clients’ retirement assets.
The operational challenges begin with the workplace retirement account’s location; as plans are selected by employers, it is often the case that a financial advisor has no affiliation with the financial institution holding their client’s 401(k). To manage these outside assets, financial advisors have for years logged into accounts using their client’s credentials—a practice that requires substantial investments in cybersecurity and compliance. Alternatively, advisors have provided rebalancing guidance to clients, assuming the risks of lacking full plan information and implementation oversight.
Pontera alleviates these challenges through its client-permissioned platform, which empowers advisors to analyze, rebalance and monitor 401(k), 403(b) and other held-away accounts across hundreds of financial institutions in a single, unified view. The platform is SOC 2 Type II and ISO 27001 certified and integrates with leading portfolio management software to provide clients with a 360° view of their finances. Clients benefit from enhanced transparency, peace of mind and retirement outcomes.
“It’s one of those rare moments in time where if you implement a new capability everyone wins, from the client to the advisor,” said Shirl Penney, President and CEO of Dynasty Financial Partners, a leading provider of wealth management and technology platforms to over 300 financial advisors. Penney recently announced that Dynasty is on track to oversee $100 billion in client assets by July 2024.
As the future of social security is uncertain, the U.S. government is working to expand and preserve the 401(k), as indicated by the SECURE 2.0 Act and the proposed Retirement Security Rule. The latter targets $779 billion lost by plan participants during inadequate account rollovers. Earlier this year, Pontera evidenced its solution helps advisors and their clients keep assets in 401(k) plans and minimize suboptimal rollovers.
“This funding is not just an investment in Pontera; it’s an investment in the future of every U.S. worker striving for a secure and fulfilling retirement,” said Yoav Zurel, CEO of Pontera. “We are proud to partner with investors who recognize the nation’s looming retirement crisis and Pontera’s role in helping everyday families.”
Pontera’s collaboration with Dynasty represents a significant achievement in the company’s journey since the last funding round; other notable new relationships include Benjamin Edwards, OneDigital, Savant and Wealthspire. In that time, Pontera has also launched new platform integrations with wealth management platforms Addepar, Envestnet and Morningstar.
To learn more about Pontera, visit pontera.com.
Pontera is a fintech company on a mission to help millions of Americans retire better by enabling financial advisors to analyze, rebalance, and report on workplace retirement account assets, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s and more. The platform is designed to work across the vast majority of retirement plans and seamlessly integrate with existing portfolio management tools to help advisors improve their clients’ financial outcomes. Founded in 2012, Pontera is headquartered in New York City. Learn more at pontera.com.