July 30, 2013

Raymond James Rolls Out Tool for Discretionary Trading

The FolioDynamix technology works in conjunction with the firm's proprietary research and can be used for modeling, rebalancing and trading

Raymond James (RJF) said Tuesday that it added a new portfolio management and research tool to its platform in cooperation with FolioDynamix. The tool, which is called Portfolio Management Center, combines Raymond James’ proprietary research with a discretionary modeling, rebalancing and trading platform.

Vin Campagnoli“We selected FolioDynamix for its range of functionality and flexibility, creating efficiencies for our advisors who have discretionary trading authorization on behalf of their clients,” said Vin Campagnoli (left), Raymond James chief information officer, in a press release.

“We have already rolled out new proposal and research tools, and [we] are now launching upgraded technology for discretionary manager programs, all while providing a single, seamless Web interface for advisors,” Campagnoli explained.

The latest tool can help advisors by generating customized client proposals; performing discretionary modeling, trading and rebalancing; and accessing Raymond James’ proprietary research within the context of investment and account analysis, according to the company.

Several of Raymond James 6,300-plus advisors participated in a pilot project with the portfolio over the past few months.

“This is the best piece of software that the firm has rolled out,” said David McKee, an advisor based in Fairfax, Va., in a statement. “It is very functional, easy to use, and a state-of-the-art discretionary order entry platform.”

“PMC has dramatically changed the way we trade and monitor our clients’ portfolios,” said Joel Faircloth, an advisor in Portland, Ore., in a statement “PMC not only allows us to reallocate all of our discretionary client portfolios within minutes, but we can do it with confidence because of the customizable trading rules and automated portfolio tracking. It’s like having a second and third set of eyes on the portfolios.”

Todd Knickerbocker, a Raymond James rep in Northville, Mich., says the new platform is intuitive and helpful: “We primarily use it for trading our investment models and find it has allowed us to become much more efficient. It eliminated many of the cumbersome, manual functions found in the old system and really streamlined the process.”

Other Tech-Related Moves

Earlier in July, Raymond James formed a partnership with Hearsay Social for financial advisors who want to build more customer relationships and grow their businesses through social media.

The company says it first moved to help advisors use social-media marketing and compliance tools in November 2011. Since then, more than 2,000 of its almost 6,000 North America-based advisors are utilizing these Web-based resources for communicating and interacting with clients.

In April, Raymond James received the Bank Insurance and Securities Association’s 2013 Technology Innovation Award for the firm’s commitment to technology-based industry solutions and the rollout of its financial planning software, Goal Planning & Monitoring.

The software was launched in August to independent and employee advisors with Raymond James. The firm’s partner in the introduction and use of this software is MoneyGuidePro, and Raymond James says Goal, Planning & Monitoring was “the most significant enhancement in 2012 to Advisor Access,” its technology platform.

“That [award] was a good surprise,” said Campagnoli in an interview earlier this year. “It’s amazing how responsive the MoneyGuidePro team has been to our advisors.”

“When we showed GPM to some advisors a year ago, there was immediate feedback, and MoneyGuidePro immediately began working and making adjustments based on that feedback,” said Bella Loykhter Allaire, executive vice president of technology and operations, in an interview several months ago. “That is the type of partnership you really want.”

Financial planning tools can be “very difficult to introduce,” Allaire said. But both she and Campagnoli were familiar with MoneyGuidePro from their work at Prudential Securities. “About 40% of advisors had built plans with it as of March, which is very impressive,” she added. “It’s relatively new to our advisors, so we are very pleased.”

Allaire and Campagnoli were hired by Raymond James about two years ago, after Paul Reilly took the reigns as CEO from Tom James in May 2010.

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