It’s no secret that those who provide independent financial advice fall somewhere along a spectrum of independence from the registered rep of an independent broker/dealer to the completely independent RIA. “No matter where you are on the scale,” pledges Jack Callahan, president of Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, “we will bring together the platforms” of FIWS and Fidelity’s National Financial clearing unit to meet the needs of the so-called hybrid market through a new service called HybridOne. In an interview on June 3, Callahan and Norman Malo, president and CEO of National Financial, described how through a single sign-on advisors who are RIAs that custody with FIWS or reps whose broker/dealers clear through National Financial will have access to both shops’ products and services. HybridOne will feature “tighter integration” of the separate B/D and RIA workstations that will allow clients, Fidelity said in a statement, “to view their account activity across two platforms,” and also provide shared access to various investment products, including alternative investments, and Fidelity’s in-house practice management resources.
Malo said that the movement toward fees has “forced many of my clients to change their business model,” particularly to accommodate dually registered advisors, and that one of the benefits National Financial can provide is to “bring efficiency to that relationship.” Since Malo points out that both FIWS and National Financial “operate on one brokerage platform,” through an arrangement with Thomson One, Fidelity can aggregate data for RIAs who also are B/D reps under the program, providing valuable oversight data for the B/Ds.
Of National Financial’s 330 clearing clients 124 have dually registered reps, Malo noted, while Callahan said a full third of FIWS’s 3,500 RIAs are dually registered as well.