Pershing to Launch Retirement Plan Network

It announces new technology, asset growth at its annual Insite conference

Robert Cirrotti, director of retirement solutions, Pershing. Robert Cirrotti, director of retirement solutions, Pershing.

Pershing says it will roll out a retirement plan program later this year to help advisors, broker-dealers and RIAs grow their business. These plans, which advisors would custody at Pershing, will be integrated with third-party administrators and recordkeepers on the new platform.

“The Retirement Plan Network will allow our clients to target these plans, and, at the same time, to opt to serve small- and medium-size business owners by managing their personal assets, for instance,” said Robert Cirrotti, director of retirement solutions, in an interview Thursday during the group’s annual Insite conference in Hollywood,  Fla.

For advisors, this new Pershing service gives them increased efficiency, Cirrrotti says, with the ability to work across different recordkeepers; for RIAs, as they manage services like asset-allocation models, it means they can do such work across various retirement plans and recordkeepers; and for broker-dealers, it brings greater transparency and oversight via a single platform that works with multiple third-party administrators.

“This should make Pershing a hub for retirement-centric advisors,” Cirrotti explained, “as we help them move through the lifecycle from selling the retirement plan work to servicing and managing it.”

In other news, Pershing said Thursday that one of its affiliates, Albridge, is in the process of introducing a new Albridge Wealth Reporting platform with enhanced functionality so advisors can better leverage client portfolio data and provide investors with accurate and insightful analysis.

“The new Albridge Wealth Reporting platform goes far beyond anything we have brought to market before,” explained Peter Antonucci, managing director at Pershing, in a statement. “We were focused on reimagining a framework for data management, reporting, workflow and accessibility. The result is a solution that is robust, flexible and more intuitive.” 

'Positive' Directions

Pershing’s tech news is one of several themes being highlighted at its annual conference.

The economy is “heading in right direction,” said Pershing CEO Ron DeCicco, adding that the firm is optimistic about the markets the advisory business tied to them.

“The U.S. is in the mid-cycle of an eight-year expansion, with growth likely to accelerate for the next three years,” DeCicco said on Wednesday, before an audience of about 2,000 advisors and others attending the group’s annual Insite conference. “Companies are cautiously hiring, and we are seeing positive trends on the Pershing platform.”

Client assets, as of April 30, stand at almost $1.5 trillion, vs. $943 billion in 2009 and $1.4 trillion in 2013.

As for asset allocation, clients hold about 31% of their portfolios in equities. By product, mutual funds (excluding ETFs) represent 34% of portfolios, but ETFs are catching up; they account for nearly 6% of assets today.

“The strongest flows are into global and international funds, indicating demand for … more diversification,” said DeCicco.

Those investors working with an advisor “create more assets than those who are not,” he notes, pointing to data that shows these households had grown their assets 173% over 15 years.

Clients also are favoring products that they can invest in with no fees. The level of assets held in no-fee products (on Pershing’s FundVest platform) stood at $406 billion 2013, up from $338 billion in 2012. 

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Check out 10 Steps to Becoming a Multigenerational Advisor: Pershing on ThinkAdvisor.

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