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Fidelity takes wraps off advisor tech platform

18 October 2016  |  2388 views  |  0 Source: Fidelity

Fidelity today released new details on its next-generation “total advisor” technology platform, designed to help registered investment advisors, broker-dealers, banks and family offices digitize their businesses.

WealthscapeSM will serve as the gateway to connect all fee-based, commission-based and hybrid clients to new Fidelity tools and third-party solutions, including eMoney Advisor’s award-winning1 wealth planning software. The total advisor platform will help simplify a complex technology landscape and help drive efficiency, transparency and growth for three types of users:

  • Financial advisors will be able to tap into advanced analytics, automated workflow tools and an integrated suite of portfolio management solutions, all of which will be supported in the future by a multi-custodian consolidated data platform. In addition, advisors who choose to leverage eMoney Advisor’s solutions will experience the benefits of deep integrations with Fidelity’s brokerage platform, allowing them to move swiftly from collaborative planning with clients to taking action in a brokerage account on their behalf. For advisors who wish to offer a digital advice platform, they can choose from options within WealthscapeSM Digital Advice Solutions, including the Fidelity Automated Managed Platform (AMP), a planning-led digital advice solution co-developed with eMoney Advisor, or connections to other third-party digital solutions through APIs or integrations.
  • End investors – the clients of financial advisors – have access to an engaging investor portal through eMoney. Advisors who choose to leverage eMoney Advisor’s software can offer their clients an investor experience that is deeply integrated with Fidelity’s brokerage capabilities, enabling them to organize their financial lives in one place. In Fidelity AMP, co-developed with eMoney, investors who work with advisors may be attracted to the digital interface.
  • Home office professionals will be able to focus their teams on high-value activities through integrated workflows and tools – like data visualization – to easily digest and take action on advanced analytics.

“Technology options have grown exponentially in recent years, making the mapping of technology time-consuming and complicated. For firms that want help designing their technology architecture, our total advisor platform removes the guesswork of linking it all together. For firms that want to manage and support their own technology, Fidelity remains committed to an open architecture environment,” said Tom McCarthy, head of platform technology for Fidelity Institutional.

“Today, we have rolled out the first products available on our total advisor platform, allowing clients to start taking advantage of new tools that suit their needs. Over time, they can add on new functionality. We’ve heard from our clients that this staggered approach eases decision-making and supports advisor adoption.”

The financial advisory space is in the midst of a rapid evolution. This evolution is driving more collaborative client-advisor engagement and putting pressure on advisors to demonstrate their value beyond investment performance. In Fidelity’s 2015 Insights on Advice survey of advisors, nearly half (43 percent) felt they will need to provide more services, resources and/or time to clients over the next one to two years to maintain their current pricing2.

“In order to grow a successful business in the future, advisors must build a solid foundation of financial and wealth planning, intimately knowing clients, helping them manage significant life events and guiding them through varied market conditions to achieve their goals,” said Sanjiv Mirchandani, president of Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions. “We believe that a planning-led practice will give firms an edge, and help them to be more future-ready, which is why we are working so closely with eMoney to bring many elements of our new platform to life.”

“Our collaborative client-advisor tools, including digital advice, allow advisors to use integrated technology to better support their clients,” said Ed O’Brien, chief executive officer of eMoney Advisor. “At eMoney, developing a platform that fills the gaps in an advisor’s tech stack is in our DNA. Expanding many of our core planning-based capabilities to create the foundation for a more automated experience for an advisor’s clients is another natural gap to fill.”

Fidelity’s new total advisor platform is a multi-year effort and is focused on delivering in the following five key areas to enable a digital practice, of which tools have started to roll out and will continue throughout 2017 and 2018:

1. Building on the significant investments Fidelity has made in its Streetscape® and WealthCentral® workstations, the total advisor platform is creating a common infrastructure for these two workstations, requiring only one single “front door” called Wealthscape. This transition will be complete in December 2016, and has been underway for the last two years to minimize impact on clients. All existing functionality will continue, but with added capabilities. As a web platform, Wealthscape updates will take place seamlessly for firms.

2. For firms that choose to work with eMoney Advisor, Fidelity offers first-of-its-kind deep integrations between Wealthscape and the emX suite of products, designed to enhance the investor-advisor experience. While many advisors already use the award-winning wealth planning experience that eMoney provides, deep integration with Wealthscape will enable them to move swiftly from planning into action in areas requiring brokerage integration, like account opening, funding and trading.

  • The emX suite of products offer an engaging personal financial management portal that includes views into the household balance sheet, planning tools and secure document storage, and financial planning solutions, including: cash flow-based planning, needs-based goal planning and estate planning.
  • Integrations between Wealthscape and the emX suite include: a collaborative vault investors can use to automatically access copies of their Fidelity brokerage account documents; investor self-service tools, like eDelivery enrollment (currently only available to broker-dealer clients) and integrations with the Fidelity brokerage platform for account maintenance; and integrated advisor workflows that link the two platforms together.
  • Initial brokerage integrations with eMoney focus on the investor experience and are in use by more than 100 firms since becoming available in September 2016. Additional integrations will become available throughout 2017.

3. To help advisors who are looking to service smaller accounts through an automated offering while still operating as the investment advisor on the accounts, Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions is launching WealthscapeSM Digital Advice Solutions, which includes a custom-built digital advice offering for advisors, as well as connections to other third-party digital solutions through deep integrations or APIs built for digital solutions.

  • The custom-built digital advice solution, Fidelity Automated Managed Platform (AMP), co-developed with eMoney, will begin its pilot in late Q1 2017 and will be:
  • Fully integrated, providing a streamlined and fully digital experience for investor onboarding, goal-setting, and monitoring, powered by eMoney, with straight-through account opening and funding through Fidelity’s brokerage capabilities. Advisors will also be able to evolve clients, when ready, from an automated to a collaborative advised experience – without changing their technology platforms.
  • Flexible, allowing the advisor to remain the investment advisor on the account. Firms can craft their own Investment Profile Questionnaires (IPQs), selecting from a range of digitally-tuned investment portfolios from sub-advisor Geode Capital Management, and then serve as the investment advisor on the portfolio. Fidelity AMP will also allow advisors to manage their automated and traditionally advised portfolios side-by-side.
  • Future-ready, leveraging eMoney’s technology to support a collaborative advisor-investor relationship. Investors who work with advisors will be able to access self-service tools, like interactive goal selection and automated onboarding, through a digital interface. Over time, as these clients’ financial lives become more complex, advisors will have the opportunity to create a path toward a more collaborative, traditionally advised experience.
  • Fully integrated, providing a streamlined and fully digital experience for investor onboarding, goal-setting, and monitoring, powered by eMoney, with straight-through account opening and funding through Fidelity’s brokerage capabilities. Advisors will also be able to evolve clients, when ready, from an automated to a collaborative advised experience – without changing their technology platforms.
  • Flexible, allowing the advisor to remain the investment advisor on the account. Firms can craft their own Investment Profile Questionnaires (IPQs), selecting from a range of digitally-tuned investment portfolios from sub-advisor Geode Capital Management, and then serve as the investment advisor on the portfolio. Fidelity AMP will also allow advisors to manage their automated and traditionally advised portfolios side-by-side.
  • Future-ready, leveraging eMoney’s technology to support a collaborative advisor-investor relationship. Investors who work with advisors will be able to access self-service tools, like interactive goal selection and automated onboarding, through a digital interface. Over time, as these clients’ financial lives become more complex, advisors will have the opportunity to create a path toward a more collaborative, traditionally advised experience.
  • Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions will also accommodate additional third-party digital solutions, based on client interest, through APIs created for digital solutions, as well as select deep integrations.

4. To enhance Wealthscape’s core brokerage and servicing capabilities, Fidelity will offer an integrated suite of portfolio management tools, WealthscapeSM Portfolio Tools, to help clients more efficiently manage portfolios from beginning to end, fueled by a new consolidated data platform.

  • Wealthscape Portfolio Tools is a modular suite and includes tools for: proposal generation, modeling, advanced rebalancing, performance measurement and fee billing, and will be delivered separately and in waves starting in 2016 and throughout 2018.
  • WealthscapeSM Performance Measurement, part of the Wealthscape Portfolio Tools, is currently in use by 15 piloting firms representing more than 150,000 accounts. Performance Measurement will be generally available in 2017.
  • WealthscapeSM Advanced Modeling & Rebalancing, also part of the Wealthscape Portfolio Tools and built upon Fidelity’s current modeling and rebalancing tools, will pilot household rebalancing at the start of 2017, followed by asset class rebalancing later that year.
  • Powering Wealthscape Portfolio Tools, Fidelity will deliver a multi-custodian consolidated data platform that enables a holistic view of wealth for the investor and the advisor, powering richer analytics and deeper investor-advisor conversations. The consolidated data platform with Fidelity brokerage data powering Wealthscape Performance Measurement is now in pilot with another 25 firms into 2017. Multi-custodian capabilities are targeted for late 2017.
  • Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions will continue to offer its popular Managed Accounts Solutions platform, powered by Envestnet, to clients.
  • And as part of its commitment to open architecture, Fidelity will continue to integrate additional third-party portfolio management tools.

5. Importantly, all of this will be strengthened by WealthscapeSM Automated Workflows and Advanced Analytics to help home offices and advisors improve efficiencies, grow their businesses and manage risk. This includes:

  • WealthscapeSM Regulatory Early Warning, an advanced analytics offering, allows compliance personnel to quickly identify and track regulatory content that may impact their firm -- all in one streamlined user interface. Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of Fidelity broker-dealer clients have signed up for the offering since it was launched in July 2016.

The next phases include plans to create a central operations hub for home office professionals and smart analytics and data visualization for the advisor. 

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