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New Pershing X Business Unit Launches: Tech Roundup

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What You Need to Know

  • Ainslie Simmonds will lead the unit, which will create solutions for existing and potentially new clients.
  • Also, Carson is onboarding the FeeX fintech retirement service for its financial advisors.
  • Broadridge enhances its Fi360 Toolkit to enable advisors to leverage ESG rating data from OWL Analytics.

BNY Mellon’s Pershing launched a new Pershing X business unit it said Thursday will “design and build innovative solutions for the advisory industry” and also “accelerate Pershing’s delivery of consumer grade digital experiences to its clients, as well as the broader marketplace.”

Pershing X is an “extension” of the Client Experience Reimagined initiative that the firm announced in April, it said. The new division will “incubate, engineer, and deliver a comprehensive, all-in-one set of advisory capabilities” to Pershing’s Wealth Solutions clients, including broker-dealers, RIAs and trust companies, it added.

The new division is a “continuation of our way of rethinking our organization design through the lens of the client,” Jim Crowley, Pershing CEO, told ThinkAdvisor in a phone interview.

This is “our idea, as a custodian, to solve a significant problem for many of our” 1,300 clients that Pershing serves globally, “which is stitching together disparate technology solutions and data sets to run their advisory platforms for their advisors and ultimately their clients,” he explained.

It’s also a “continuation of what we started” in the spring, when Pershing realigned its business under two main segments — Wealth Solutions and Institutional Solutions — down from three segments, he explained. Pershing X will be operated “right alongside of our Wealth Solutions group, which is our RIA, broker-dealer and bank channel business,” he said.

In addition to helping existing Pershing clients, “we also see this as an opportunity to serve clients who may not actually use us as a custodian or they may be multi-custodial,” he noted.

He described Pershing X as a “fintech firm when you think about the technology that we’re going to deliver to the marketplace” but a business that will also “offer the capability to provide investment management services on top of the platform” and also offer model management tools and BNY Mellon institutional-grade investment management product, along with lending services, he said. “It’s a fintech TAMP plus plus,” he added.

Pershing appointed Ainslie Simmonds as the new division’s president. She is joining Pershing’s executive committee and brings two decades of experience in wealth management and digital to her new role. Most recently, she was executive vice president and global head of digital at Pimco Investments. Prior to Pimco, she was executive officer and head of digital products and design at Northwestern Mutual.

Simmonds also played a key role in launching several fintech firms, including financial planning firm LearnVest and brokerage and trading software firm thinkorswim, which was acquired by TD Ameritrade in 2009.

Pershing’s existing managed account business will “be lifted and shifted into Pershing X … and we will be adding to that staff and to that team to go beyond just what we’ve traditionally done,” Crowley said.

The exact number of people the company will add to Pershing X had yet to be determined, he added, noting it’s a “multi-year program” planned for the new division, with significant enhancements planned for the platform in 2022.

Pershing isn’t saying how much it’s spending on Pershing X but this is “one of the more significant investments that BNY Mellon is making for the next several years in this particular space,” he said.

Carson Onboards FeeX

Carson Group has partnered with the fintech retirement solution FeeX to give Carson’s network of advisors the ability to fully manage their clients’ retirement plans, the companies said in a joint announcement Thursday.

“The technology ensures all investment decisions fit into their clients’ holistic financial plans by allowing advisors to manage and trade retirement assets alongside other accounts,” the companies said.

Using the FeeX platform, Carson advisors can view and trade all the investment options available in 401(k), 403(b) and other held-away accounts, in a safe and compliant way without triggering custody. FeeX allows advisors to reallocate their clients’ retirement portfolios instead of consulting with the clients and relying on them to make adjustments themselves.

Broadridge Enhances Fi360

Broadridge Financial Solutions made an enhancement to its Fi360 Fiduciary Focus Toolkit that enables financial advisors to leverage environmental, social and governance rating data from OWL Analytics when evaluating investment decisions, the companies said in a joint announcement on Wednesday.

The enhancement was made to meet the growing demand for ESG analysis from advisors and investors, according to Broadridge.

“Interest in ESG investments is accelerating among U.S. investors and they are looking to advisors and plan sponsors to provide the desired products to meet their financial and personal goals,” according to John Faustino, head of Broadridge fiduciary certification and training solutions.

The Fiduciary Focus Toolkit is a web-based software solution that provides analytical, management and reporting features for investment managers and helps advisors to implement a prudent investment process.

With the new enhancement, advisors can use the ESG scoring as standalone screening criteria or in conjunction with other metrics like returns, alpha or the Fi360 Fiduciary Score, giving advisors the ability to search for and monitor funds on pecuniary merit first and then overlay the ESG screening.

ESG ratings from OWL Analytics will automatically update for advisors monthly within the Fiduciary Focus Toolkit.

RadiantESG Selects STP Investment Services

Fintech firm STP Investment Services was selected by RadiantESG Global Investors to act as its all-inclusive operational services and platform solution, the companies said Wednesday in a joint announcement.

STP provides front, middle and back-office support, as well as investment operations outsourcing servicing for more than $340 billion in total assets, according to the company.

Through the new, cloud-based Blueprint offering, STP will provide RadiantESG with a suite of solutions that include middle and back-office, compliance, and trade execution services; and a robust set of operational resources that will provide support for its execution of ESG integrated investment strategies for clients, the companies said.

(Pictured: Ainslie Simmonds, Pershing X president)