From the July 2009 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

July 1, 2009

Upgrades

Pershing LLC has rolled out its NetX360 technology platform to 1,000 beta users on both the broker/dealer and RIA channels, following two years of development work by some 500 people. The platform integrates a host of applications on one "financial browser" platform with a customizable home page, including portfolio management, CRM, document management, financial planning, and research. Users can create their own dashboards, and the trading platform is powered by a rules engine that can use up to 400 rules. The platform includes a "My Workbook" application that allows an advisor or rep to view the metrics of their practice (or book of business) at the same level of detail as with a client's individual account, along with built-in monitoring and compliance tools. The platform allows a user to crate a financial plan within NetX360, using whatever software the user wants, and also has interfaces to Pershing PMA managed account platform, and even to held-away assets, and with a single report center featuring reports in plain English. With the flexibility of using specific applications for even short periods of time, Suresh Kumar, CIO of Pershing, likened NetX360 to an "apps store on an iPhone."

... Fidelity Investments and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts announced an agreement that gives Fidelity's retail and institutional brokerage customers access to initial public offerings and follow-on offerings of KKR companies, while providing KKR's capital markets business with a new retail distribution channel. The agreement will give Fidelity exclusive access to retail securities allocated to KKR in all U.S. public offerings in which KKR participates as an underwriter to Fidelity's retail brokerage customers as well as to accounts managed by Fidelity's RIA, correspondent broker/dealer, and other institutional clients

...In a bid to ensure its yields remain competitive, Vanguard plans by early August to merge the $6.7 billion Vanguard Treasury Money Market Fund (VMPXX) into the lower-cost $21.8 billion Vanguard Admiral Treasury Money Market Fund (VUSXX). In addition, Vanguard says it has closed the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund to all new accounts and to additional purchases from current institutional accounts

...Document management company Laserfiche has introduced Avante, software designed to make its business process management technology--which includes document management, Workflow, Snapshot, and e-mail functions for $500 per license, which the company calls an "attractive price point" to both RIAs and independent broker/dealers

...Advisor Software Inc. has upgraded its ASI Wealth Manager platform to include a portfolio comparison tool, a retirement expenses tool, and a household balance sheet

...On the heels of the SEC's new summary prospectus rule, which became effective March 31, NewRiver has launched the Summary Prospectus Index, a weekly tracking of summary prospectuses filed on the SEC's EDGAR system. NewRiver says the Index will track the growth of summary prospectus filings and the statutory prospectuses that have filed a summary prospectus section. The SEC's summary prospectus rule, NewRiver points out, requires firms to deliver the summary prospectus in either print or electronic format and to "make the longer 'statutory' prospectus available to investors within a mouse click via layered disclosure." NewRiver also notes that to date, thirteen fund companies including American Funds, Nuveen Funds, and Van Kampen Funds have filed summary sections within 58 statutory prospectuses

...Thinkorswim Group Inc. stockholders approved June 9 the proposed acquisition of the firm by TD Ameritrade. Tom Bradley, president of TD Ameritrade Institutional, noted the proposed acquisition at NAPFA's National Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, June 5, after attendee queries were presented to him concerning the complicated nature of options. TD Ameritrade hopes its acquisition of thinkorswim--a provider of online brokerage and investor education services, including options trading--can help advisors to use options

...TFS Capital has announced a soft close of its Market Neutral Fund (TFSMX) to new investors, effective June 30, 2009, though existing shareholders can continue to buy, and advisors who have already invested on behalf of their clients will be able to buy shares for existing and future clients.

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