March 3, 2011

Fidelity Introduces New Referral Tool for Advisors

Referral-EDGE searches database of public information to identify HNW prospects

Fidelity Investments announced Thursday it had launched Referral-EDGE, a Web-based research tool designed to help advisors find prospective clients and networking opportunities.

An extension of Fidelity’s Centers of Influence (COI) and Referral Strategies program,Referral-EDGE helps advisors to identify potential referral opportunities by quickly searching a database of public information, including more than 2.5 million high-net-worth individuals, 1.5 million retirement plans and nearly 150,000 foundations and endowments.  The database, which is updated daily, aggregates its information from more than 3,000 U.S. sources.

“It taps into a database of press releases, marketing leads, news releases and other areas focused on high-net-worth clients,”said David Canter, executive vice president and head of practice management and consulting at Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services.  “The concept is based on seven seminars we conducted last year focused on helping advisors grow their business through networking within centers of influence. It’s a third-party vendor, but it has been customized to the needs of our advisors.”

Already in pilot with more than 200 advisory firms, Referral-EDGE provides access to a vast amount of data that allows advisors to quickly gain insight into existing clients, uncover prospective clients, identify retirement plan and foundation opportunities, and network with influential professionals.

Advisors can search the database for detailed profiles of existing clients, prospects or professional connections using an array of demographic variables, including geographic location (e.g., by zip code), level of assets (e.g., publicly traded investment details), professional and social affiliations (e.g., co-workers or alumni), and more.  Once the advisor has selected the search criteria, Referral-EDGE aggregates and synthesizes detailed public information and generates a list of individuals that the advisor can evaluate for his practice. 

Advisors also are able to save their search criteria to create automatic “Daily Alerts” which will notify them of any activity on a prospect or client.  Customized exclusively for Fidelity clients, the Referral-EDGE “Quick Search” menu allows advisors to quickly research existing clients and find COIs in their city as well as locate high-net-worth individuals who have had recent promotions or changed companies.

Each month, Referral-EDGE adds more than 12,000 executives, reports nearly 30,000 wealth-creating events (e.g., new job appointments and promotions, mergers and acquisitions and trading activity) and processes over 2,000 foundation and endowment updates.  Search results can be e-mailed, printed or exported into Excel or an advisor’s customer relationship management (CRM) system.

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