SEI is running a pilot program to improve its administrative and operational platform for advisors, with a full launch planned for the first quarter of 2013.
“We are significantly upgrading the functionality and the capabilities of the administrative and operational platform,” Steve Onofrio, managing director at SEI, told AdvisorOne on Tuesday.
The SEI Wealth Platform brand encompasses the firm’s current investment platform, administrative and operational platform, and the practice management platform, Onofrio (left) said.
What’s unique about SEI’s platform, Onofrio said, is that they are integrating a full custodial solution with their current technology. “It’s different in the industry because all of the solutions available to independent advisors today don’t have an integrated custody platform as well,” he said. Typically, advisors use independent software and specialized subsystems that they interface to a custodial system. The enhanced SEI Wealth Platform will have integrated portfolio management and rebalancing systems, an automated fee system, and will produce performance reporting statements. “What this allows is free-flowing information between all these systems,” Onofrio added. “It then enables the advisor to spend more time with clients and building the business.”
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Another benefit of the platform, Onofrio said, is that it reduces the amount of resources an advisor needs, such as people to process transactions on their end, as well as additional software, not to mention the time it takes to learn, implement and upgrade various systems. “They don’t have to spend the money to buy additional subsystems. They don’t have to spend the time or money to integrate them.”
Information flows automatically, Onofrio said, and assets are identified in one database, as opposed to in the portfolio management system and the custodial system, forcing advisors to import data back and forth as needed. “Our system doesn’t require that at all. Nobody has to manually import it, do the modeling, do the trades, and then export the trades back to the custodian for execution.” In addition to savings in time and money, Onofrio also points to savings in frustration, as the single database will prevent information from getting “out of sync” between an advisor’s records and the custodian’s.
The platform has fully unified, household capabilities, as opposed to taking an account-based approach. Onofrio calls the platform “household-centric or model-centric.”