Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services announced Thursday it had released a new tool to help advisors evaluate and compare available technology solutions.
The new Technology Investment Evaluator, part of the firm’s Practice Management and Consulting Program, “helps Fidelity’s team of technology and operations consultants work closely with their advisor clients to identify and evaluate potential workflow efficiencies and the economic impact of technology investments for their advisor clients,” according to the company.
“The new tool is something we’ve always included in our Practice Management and Consulting program, it’s just that it’s now been formalized,” says David Canter, executive vice president and head of practice management and consulting at Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services. “On almost a weekly basis, we get questions from advisors about how to quantify the costs they’re about to incur with a new technology purchase. This was the impetus for the new release.”
Canter says the Technology Investment Evaluator is vendor agnostic and addresses three key issues: scale, a re-allocation of resources and the consultative process.
“If, for example, an advisor is looking at outsourcing the portfolio management portion of his practice, we can do a side-by-side comparison of the available choices,” he says. “But we can also help him address how the re-allocation of resources and costs will affect his business, and ultimately, help him expand his margins.”
Specifically, Fidelity consultants input specific information about an advisor’s current practice, including software and hardware expenses, staff resource allocations, and the number of investor accounts and asset levels. The consulting team works with the advisor to understand where the practice can become more efficient, and the potential impact of deploying technology and operational changes. Leveraging the Evaluator tool with information provided to the consultants by the advisor, the consultant creates a detailed report quantifying the economic impact of incorporating these efficiencies in the advisor’s practice. The Fidelity consultant then works with the advisor to help the advisor prioritize, plan and execute the initiatives outlined in the report.
While working with advisors, the consultants take into consideration a number of technology alternatives and employ a comprehensive methodology to identify opportunities for streamlining workflow and applying technology solutions to help advisors achieve their goals.