Lucille Mayer, a Pershing managing director in charge of technology products and services, is one of those Pershing veterans who Mark Tibergien realized was already perfectly “aligned” in the appropriate leadership role at Pershing, which she joined in 1990. She reports that Pershing has completed rollout of the NetX360 technology platform across all PAS advisors, and is continuing to work with its advisory boards—of advisors and a separate one for advisors’ assistants—to drive adoption of the platform, and for advisors and their assistants to “understand the nuances” of the feature-rich platform.
The focus this year, she says, is on providing more efficiency for advisors, and one of the NetX360 tools to help accomplish that focus is Smart Workflow, which she calls a “way for each office, each advisor, to set up their own workflow,” including both Pershing and non-Pershing tasks. Smart Worfkflow, now in beta testing with about 10 advisory firms, provides a checklist of steps for an advisor to follow and documents to gather when completing recurrent tasks such as preparing for quarterly or semi-annual meetings with clients. Noting that Smart Workflow can be a great training tool for new hires in an advisor’s practice, it also will come in handy when inspectors want to determine if your practices are following your policies and procedures manual, since it interacts with that manual.
Another new efficiency offering in NetX360 is a client meeting preparation tool, allowing an advisor, Mayer says, to “take a Black Diamond or MoneyGuidePro report and create and collate the documents” through NetX360 with templates available as well. By March 2011, Mayer says a new client onboarding tool will go into beta testing to speed the opening and funding of new accounts.
There are two more developments already on NetX360 driving advisor efficiency: an international order entry feature allowing international equity quotes and orders in local currency, and a separately managed accounts enhancement that integrates order blasting and rebalancing with a rules engine. When a client needs money, says Mayer, “I as an advisor want to go to one place to process that check.” The system will work with the SMA managers to most efficiently fund that check and deliver it to the clients.
As for near-term future enhancements, Pershing will give advisors more insights into their business by releasing “in a few months” Analytics 2.0, which Mayer calls the “next generation of business intelligence tools in NetX360.” It will also integrate with Smart Workflow, so insight into business practices can be translated into process.
Also on the drawing board: NetX360 integration with SalesForce.com. Mayer says, “We’re talking to other CRM and performance management” software providers.
Finally but not least important, Mayer says that with Albridge now being part of Pershing, “that gives us opportunity to leverage asset aggregation and performance reporting, and to bring views of those assets natively into NetX360.”
As for mobile devices, Mayer says Pershing remains committed to “anytime, anywhere access,” and will “enable trading on those devices by the end of the year on iPad, iPhone and Blackberry, and for Android in the next month or two.” And by June, a version of NetX360.com will be rolled out “that can be accessed from any computer; all they’ll need is their ID and password.”