From the July 2010 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Pershing's Mobile Apps

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  • Disaster Recovery Plans and Succession Planning RIAs owe a fiduciary duty to clients to prepare for disasters and other contingencies. If an RIA does not have a disaster recovery plan, clients’ financial well-being may be jeopardized.  RIAs should also engage in succession planning, ensuring a smooth transaction if an owner or principal leaves.   
  • Dealings With Qualified Clients and Accredited Investors Depending upon an RIAs business model and investment strategies, it may be important to identify “qualified clients” and “accredited investors.”  The Dodd-Frank Act authorized the SEC to change which clients are defined by those terms.

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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