From the July 2010 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Pershing's Mobile Apps

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from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Client Commission Practices and Soft Dollars RIAs should always evaluate whether the products and services they receive from broker-dealers are appropriate. The SEC suggested that an RIA’s failure to stay within the scope of the Section 28(e) safe harbor may violate the advisor’s fiduciary duty to clients, so RIAs must evaluate their soft dollar relationships on a regular basis to ensure they are disclosed properly and that they do not negatively impact the best execution of clients’ transactions.
  • Agency and Principal Transactions In passing Section 206(3) of the Investment Advisers Act, Congress recognized that principal and agency transactions can be harmful to clients. Such transactions create the opportunity for RIAs to engage in self-dealing.

When cio suresh Kumar talks about Pershing LLC's NetX360 platform that just celebrated its one-year anniversary, he's understandably excited about the 70% adoption rate among the more than 100,000 broker/dealer and RIA users of the platform, which was rolled out during the Pershing Insite conference in June 2009 (the adoption rate among Pershing's RIA users is at 84%).

Kumar's also thrilled about the "enterprise-class smart workflow programs," including a checklist application that is undergoing feasibility testing now and about its ability to help many of those 100,000 users comply with the IRS's new cost-basis reporting rule for stock, dividend, and mutual fund trading that goes into effect on January 1, 2011.

What really gets him animated are the mobile versions of NetX360 that the clearing and custody firm is rolling out for its users. On June 11, Pershing announced that it was making available to its users a beta version of the platform for Apple iPad users following similar versions already introduced in 2009 for the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile users.

In Kumar's vision, the iPad's portability, its connectability to cellular networks with increasingly big pipes for data, and its relatively big screen make it the perfect device on which advisors can directly and visually communicate with clients, in person, either at the advisor's office, the client's home, or in places such as restaurants where the advisor might casually encounter a client.--James J. Green

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