Fidelity and SunGard upgrade integrated trading and custody platform

Source: Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Investments and SunGard today announced the availability of several new services to their integrated trading and custody platform for trust institutions and third party administrators (TPAs), which utilizes the capabilities of the SunGard Transaction Network (STN).

The new services, including a directed trustee services program, a payment and reporting program for brokers who support retirement plans, and an online revenue management tool, will help trust and TPA customers meet the growing wealth management and retirement planning needs of their clients.

Since its launch in August of 2006, more than 200 firms have transitioned to the STN-Fidelity Solution.

Rick Shea, senior vice president of Trust Services at Huntington Bancshares, commented, "We were looking for more automation and technology when we made the transition to the STN-Fidelity platform. At the time, we were dealing with about 250 different fund companies and transfer agents and traded, settled, and handled dividends with each one of them individually. The complexities of that were huge. We have saved many hours of work by eliminating manual procedures, and have improved our turnaround times and ability to respond to clients. It has been an excellent move."

"SunGard's relationship with Fidelity, along with the ongoing technology investments from both companies, has given our customers access to one of the most advanced sets of automated trading and brokerage services available," said Bob Ward, chief operating officer of SunGard's STN business unit. "By creating an integrated platform that supports a wide spectrum of investment processes, the STN-Fidelity solution provides customers with tools to help them acquire, grow, manage and service their businesses - today and into the future."

"With 78 million boomers preparing to retire and American workers being asked to shoulder more of the burden of saving for their retirement, the role of trust institutions and TPAs is likely to grow exponentially in the coming years," said Jim Taylor, senior vice president, Fidelity Registered Investment Advisor Group. "While the initial focus on the joint offering has been on providing trust institutions straight-through processing capabilities by integrating trust accounting and custody systems, the latest set of enhancements are designed to help TPAs drive profitable growth and support the increasingly complex financial needs of their clients."

Directed Trustee and Paying Agent Services
The introduction of Directed Trustee Services helps TPAs that custody assets with Fidelity to simplify and streamline management of qualified retirement plans by providing access to the professional trustee services offered by Fidelity Personal Trust Company, FSB. Through Directed Trustee Services, plan sponsors can access fiduciary services to help reduce risk, audit expenses, and administrative costs, among other benefits. Paying Agent Services provide administrative support of contribution, distribution and loan processing, status reports on distributions, and IRS Form 1099-R tax reporting. Paying Agent Services can be bundled with Directed Trustee Services or are available on an unbundled basis.

Fidelity Institutional Broker Network
The Fidelity Institutional Broker Network is a program for broker/dealers and their representatives who service retirement plans through a TPA relationship. For broker/dealer firms, the service can act as a compliance resource, helping them to better understand their brokers' work with TPAs and plan sponsors. It also provides automated payments of asset-based fees to broker/dealers through the NSCC Commission Settlement Service, reporting to fund companies of broker/dealer representative relationships to the retirement plans and an industry leading web application designed exclusively for broker/dealers.

Online Revenue Management Tool
The online revenue management tool helps TPAs to easily monitor commission payments from multiple fund companies across the multiple retirement plans that they service. With data refreshed daily, the system confirms payments by account, position, and payment instructions and supports information searches by any number of criteria, including plan name/account number, security, broker/dealer, and payment type. When the client has the information they require, they can print a consolidated report directly from the system or export the information to a spreadsheet for further analysis. Directed Trustee Services, Fidelity Institutional Broker Network and the revenue management tool are available to all Fidelity and SunGard trust and TPA clients.

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