Snappy Kraken Launches Convos Text Messaging Platform
Snappy Kraken, a financial technology company in Ormond Beach, Fla., has launched Convos, a text-messaging platform for financial advisors to use with their clients.

Snappy Kraken says people who receive text messages are six times more likely to read them than they are an email, and that they will do so within six minutes of receiving one. To harness this marketing potential, Snappy Kraken created Convos, which puts instantaneous communications at an advisor’s fingertips through a desktop app with an intuitive dashboard that is as easy to use as iMessage. Convos also integrates into the major customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, including Salesforce, Wealthbox and Redtail Technology.

Using Convos, advisors can send messages from either their existing office phone number or they can create a new number. The text messages are then sent to either a specific client or are broadcast to a wider audience.

To keep audience attention, Snappy Kraken creates new and engaging text messaging marketing content every month that is in compliance with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority standards. The product also integrates with MyRepChat to facilitate compliance for broker-dealer partners.

Pricing for Convos, which is currently available in beta form, starts at $19 a month with an additional 10 cents per outbound message. Received messages are free. For further information or to sign up for the Convos wait list, go to

Transamerica, UBS Launch New Retirement Plan Program
Transamerica, a provider of investment, retirement and life insurance solutions, has partnered with global wealth manager UBS to launch a new Retirement Plan Exchange featuring the UBS Retirement Plan Manager program.

This advisory program provides discretionary investment management, with UBS serving as investment manager under ERISA Section 3(38). TAG Resources, based in Knoxville, Tenn., will act as the plan’s 402(a) and 3(16) fiduciary, managing the plan’s day-to-day responsibilities.

Primarily targeted at small and midsize businesses, the exchange allows employers to reduce their administrative burden, curb certain risks and benefit from economies of scale while employees enjoy the benefits of a workplace retirement plan and the tax-deferred advantages of a typical 401(k) plan.

US SIF Releases Updated Guide For Retirement Plan Sponsors
The US SIF Foundation, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., has published an updated resource for retirement plan sponsors seeking to add sustainable funds to their defined contribution plans.

The easy-to-follow, five-step guide lets plan sponsors assess whether to add environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment options to their DC plans. The five steps include increasing plan sponsor knowledge of sustainable investing, gauging participant interest, discussing implementation, choosing funds and educating participants’ interest. 

The guide also contains a summary of studies on the financial performance of funds using ESG criteria, as well as updates on relevant U.S. Department of Labor regulations.

To access a free copy online, visit

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