Zephyr Associates has upgraded the analytics center on its public website, StyleADVISOR.com, to offer complimentary mutual fund analysis, the firm announced on July 12.
“If you look at the evolution of Zephyr as an organization, we’ve always tried to bring the top-of-the-pyramid, most sophisticated analysis to the bottom of the pyramid; to a broader base,” Marc Odo, director of applied research for Zephyr, told AdvisorOne on Thursday.
“Zephyr’s platform was initially designed for large institutional plans that were doing high-level, academic analysis,” Odo said. “But we weren’t only selling to them. That type of analysis we started selling to people who worked at brokerage firms, independent advisors. The whole industry’s gotten much more sophisticated.”
Odo noted, “Zephyr’s suite of offerings has evolved over the years. Zephyr itself is two decades old. Our flagship program is a desktop-based application, called StyleADVISOR. It’s very powerful, very robust, but this whole industry is evolving.”
To accommodate the industry’s growing need for products that aren’t “one-size-fits-all,” Zephyr created two Web-based programs.
“Zephyr OnDEMAND is a distribution tool for people who like the full-on StyleADVISOR, but don’t necessarily think it makes sense to give that much horsepower to everybody in their organization, but they still want to get Zephyr analytics to their people in the field,” Odo (right) said.
The firm’s OnDEMAND Web-based reporting tool was also upgraded with enhanced analytic tools. Users can compare funds to multiple benchmarks. OnDEMAND is a hybrid between StyleADVISOR and Web functions, Odo said.
The latest offering, Zephyr Analytics Center (ZAC), is entirely Web-based. “We’ve taken the formulas, math and coding out and we’ve put those analytics entirely in a native solution,” Odo said.
ZAC has been available for a “year or two,” according to Odo. While the platforms are separate, they offer similar features, like “different ways of looking at risk, analyzing performance and looking at performance over different time periods.”
A Zephyr-branded version of ZAC is available on the firm’s website, but advisors can also embed the platform on their own website under their own brand.
“Say, for example, you’re a big company and you’ve got a website with all sorts of other tools,” Odo said. “Rather than building the whole suite of analytics from scratch, you’d rather use the analytics center.”