August 24, 2012

Tech Talk: Commonwealth, Raymond James Roll Out New Software Tools for Reps

The new programs focus on daily trading operations as well as financial planning, the firms say

Two broker-dealers have introduced software to their advisors over the past week that could boost the reps’ performance: Commonwealth Financial rolled out a new trading platform on Tuesday, while Raymond James (RJF) shared a new financial-planning tool last Friday with its reps.

Client360° Trading, being introduced by Commonwealth to its more than 1,400 independent reps, allows advisors to send trades straight through to Commonwealth or to its clearing firm, Fidelity’s National Financial Services.

“This fast, efficient and intuitive trade engine offers our financial advisors a better way to conduct this core aspect of their daily businesses,” said Darren Tedesco, managing principal of innovation and strategy for Commonwealth, in a press release. “Users can create, modify, submit and monitor trades, receiving up-to-the-minute status on orders without delay; this is all done within the confines of the portfolio accounting and CRM system.”

Advisors can use the trading tool for individual accounts and entire households. It gives them access to intraday positions and balances, real-time pricing, non-brokerage account information and more.

“In order for Client360° to remain the most sophisticated and comprehensive total client management system in the financial services industry, it needs to contain tools that enhance a practice’s overall efficiency and organization via the power of integration—and our new Client360° Trading engine does just that,” Tedesco (left) said.

Raymond James is introducing Goal Planning & Monitoring, powered by MoneyGuidePro, so its 5,500 U.S.-based advisors can better customize the level of planning they do for each client in a streamlined workflow, the company says. Retirement analysis, for instance, “can be created in minutes with minimal data input, given integration with Raymond James client information and intelligent defaults,” the company said in a press release. In addition, advisors can use the software to perform sophisticated analysis for business owners or executive-level clients.

Raymond James conducted a pilot test of the program with more than 200 advisors and began a “phased rollout” this week. It will be introduced throughout the firm in the United States over the next three months.

Goal Planning & Monitoring (or GPM) is “an elegant and effective tool that enhances the close collaboration between advisors and their clients as they work together to align financial decisions with their unique vision of retirement and other highly personalized goals,” said Patrick O’Connor, senior vice president, Wealth Management Solutions, in a press release. “GPM is a perfect example of the investments we’re making in technology to support advisors while reinforcing our firm’s 50-year history of emphasizing financial planning as an integral part of a client-centric advisory process.

“With GPM, advisors at Raymond James can create a living plan that uses the client’s unique goals and priorities as the foundation of their ongoing recommendations,” he explained. “With a single click, they can revise a plan with up-to-date holdings and values, making it more efficient to use in ongoing client review meetings.”

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