You have probably seen a half dozen headlines in the last six months (at least) that point to a mainstream financial firm buying out a new fintech platform for their custom/direct indexing technology. There has been extreme demand for custom, tax-efficient, solutions for portfolios that give the flexibility, formally reserved for the ultra-wealthy, for much lower initial investments. The biggest advantage is tax alpha which is generated by reducing taxable liabilities through loss harvesting. However, that was really only possible with extremely high net worth as the active management was just too costly. Firms like BlackRock, JPMorgan, and Vanguard have snatched up DI solutions for other reasons as well such as ESG which gives much more flexibility to their clients.
Finsum: The race for low fee/ low initial investment DI is on, but its shape will change as the goldilocks solution has yet to be found.