December 3, 2010

Broadridge Financial Acquires Advisor Education Firm Forefield

Broadridge to pay $19.5 million to enhance its marketing, educational efforts for advisors

Broadridge Financial Solutions announced Thursday that it acquired Forefield Inc., which provides sales, educational and client communications content for advisors and their clients, for $19.5 million.

Forefield has long found success in providing Web-based, FINRA-compliant print and online content in various formats on financial planning topics that advisors can use with their clients, including newsletters, video, client presentations, and interactive calculators. Broadridge has long been a technology provider in processing fixed income and equity trading and provides the technology infrastructure in proxy services for many public companies and mutual funds. Broadridge said in a statement announcing the acquisition that it will use Forefield’s platform to enhance its Investor Communications business.

Founded by Ronald Newton, himself a CFP, and led by long-time CEO Brent Delehey and President Bill Davenport, Worcester, Mass.-based Forefield uses a team of in-house legal and regulatory experts, as we wrote in Investment Advisor magazine all the way back in 2001, “to produce compliant documents for use by the independent planner and big financial services rep.” We said then that the firm’s founders “seem like a throwback to the time when software developers were in the game for love of the product and followed the traditional entrepreneurial path.”

Forefield’s expertise is typified by James Walsh, JD, its editor-in-chief, who has written about topics like the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for Investment Advisor and provided valuable insight into what anObama presidency would mean for advisors in a post-election IA Webinar hosted by Kate McBride on Nov. 6, 2008.

Doug DeSchutter, president of Broadridge’s Investor Communications business, said in a statement that the Forefield acquisition will allow his unit to "provide a single access point through which financial institutions and their advisors can manage the full range of materials they need to serve their clients,” further stating that the combination will “help advisors grow their business."

In a June column for Research magazine, PR guru Marie Swift wrote about how advisors use Forefield’s services to improve client communications and help build client loyalty.

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