AIQ, Inc. today announced that it has closed a $5 million private capital raise. The financing is designed to provide growth capital to further expand AdviceIQ, a groundbreaking online directory of trusted financial advisors and publisher of syndicated personal finance content and advisor rankings.
“Our newly closed equity funding permits us to expand upon current investments in sales and marketing, technology enhancements and other aspects of our business,” stated Nicholas W. Stuller, co-founder & CEO of AIQ, Inc. “Deploying this capital to extend the AdviceIQ platform represents a material business opportunity to all of our investors and will ensure we maintain our first-to-market advantage.”
Currently, over 2,400 financial advisors have passed the unique due diligence that is required in order to participate in AdviceIQ. Each has been certified to have passed the strictest industry regulatory due diligence, ensuring the directory is comprised of only fully vetted financial advisors. Designed to provide consumers with rich personal finance content, AdviceIQ also employs geo-targeting technology so investors can locate financial advisors in their neighborhood who are well matched to each investor’s special needs.
In addition to profiles, AdviceIQ publishes advisor-contributed articles on wealth management, investing and the advisor/consumer relationship, advisor rankings and original personal finance articles under the direction of Editor-in-Chief Larry Light, formerly Deputy Editor of Personal Finance for The Wall Street Journal. AdviceIQ also syndicates content through media partners. Current partners include Morningstar, The Online Investor, Minyanville, The Motley Fool, National Real Estate Investor, Retail Traffic and Business Insider.
“Our singular mission is to help individual investors access fully-vetted, trustworthy advisors who can help them take charge of their wealth and financial planning,” says co-founder and CFO Gary Liberman. “Our research and due diligence process reduces consumer exposure to advisors who have violated securities law. With AdviceIQ as a point of validation, listed advisors are effectively positioned to distinguish and locally promote their brands, reinforce client relationships and reach new prospects. We are excited to show investors the virtues, quality and worthiness of the retail financial professional,” Mr. Liberman concluded.
A growing number of broker-dealers and other advisor platform firms have subscribed to AdviceIQ to vet and showcase their advisors. Participating firms include American Portfolios Financial Services, Money Concepts Capital Corp., Securities Service Network, and well known Registered Investment Adviser firms including Evensky & Katz, Xpyria Investment Advisors and Financial Security Advisory, Inc. The Financial Planning Association has also entered into an agreement with AIQ, Inc. so that its members can avail themselves of AdviceIQ at advantageous subscription rates.
The Series A equity investors include new and existing investors such as Penton Media, Inc. publisher of WealthManagement.com, Trusts & Estates, and many leading business websites; Rory Curran, founder and former CEO of UK-based financial advisor software company, 1st Software; and Peter Wilson-Smith, a founder of Financial News and efinancialnews.com, now owned by Dow Jones; among other leading senior executives in the financial services, media, and technology industries.
About AIQ, Inc.:
AIQ, Inc. publishes the popular Meridian-IQ suite of Financial Advisor directories, licensed by over 500 major fund companies, broker-dealers and insurance companies for industry research and marketing purposes. AIQ is led by a veteran Wall Street team who are subject matter experts on retail financial advisors and investing. Its consumer-facing product, www.AdviceIQ.com, combines daily personal financial journalism with listings and rankings of pre-vetted Advisors that are certified to have passed AdviceIQ’s proprietary Regulatory Compliance Review (RCR™), the strictest industry regulatory due diligence.
RCR™ attests to the quality of an advisor’s compliance history. This due diligence encompasses the entire disciplinary and complaint history of all four major U.S. regulators: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), State regulators who license Investment Advisor Representatives and State Insurance Commissioners. Investment firms pay an annual subscription fee to have each financial advisor undergo the RCR™ screening. Only advisors who successfully pass the vetting process may have their profiles posted on www.adviceiq.com. RCR™ prevents advisors with serious infractions from appearing in the published listings and rankings. It also excludes advisors censured by one regulator, who then move to another financial services industry and would otherwise escape scrutiny. AdviceIQ provides investors with access to trustworthy advisors who can help them take charge of their wealth and financial planning.
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