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Technology > Investment Platforms

Fidelity's Advisor Platform Gets Major Update

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What You Need to Know

  • “This looks like a pretty extensive overhaul in terms of usability and personalization,” consultant Tim Welsh says.
  • The new digital empowerment tool was piloted with some large RIAs, BDs and multi-family offices.
  • The analytics upgrades are significant, and customizable homepages will benefit advisors, Joel Bruckenstein says.

Fidelity Institutional announced major updates to its technology offerings on Thursday that include enhancements to its Wealthscape advisor tech platform and a new digital empowerment tool that gives insight into firms’ digital strategies and adoption.

“This looks like a pretty extensive overhaul in terms of usability and personalization, so kudos to Fidelity for continuing to invest in the platform,” Tim Welsh, president of Nexus Strategy, told ThinkAdvisor.

The empowerment tool is “something new and should spark some good thinking inside of RIA firms as to their tech strategy going forward,” he said.

The tool provides an assessment of how well an advisory firm is leveraging tech. It has been piloted, starting in late 2021, with “roughly a dozen RIAs, broker-dealers, and multi-family offices, ranging from smaller RIAs to large, national firms, so that we could understand the range of needs that exist in the market, as well as the existing technologies and digital strategies within those firms,” according to Tricia Haskins, head of Integration Solutions at Fidelity Investments.

“Feedback has been positive, and client feedback throughout the course of the pilot helped shape the questions and content we included” in the digital empowerment tool, she told ThinkAdvisor.

“The tool is now available for all financial services firms, including RIAs, broker-dealers, family offices, and banks,” she said. It can be accessed on Fidelity Institutional’s clearing site.

The tool prompts firms to consider how their tech strategy, design and activation are empowering their businesses. Fidelity is also providing additional resources to “spark conversations with firms on what it means to be digitally empowered, how to enhance their technology ecosystem through thoughtful design, and more,” it said.

The enhancements also include updates to Integration Xchange, Fidelity’s open-architecture digital store, and the addition of Wealthscape Analytics, which it said was developed to highlight new opportunities for advisors to boost revenue and grow their businesses.

Recent updates to the platform included the addition of fractional share trading to Wealthscape, announced in September.

Analytics Boost

The digital empowerment tool is “new to Fidelity, but I think other custodians have done this before,” Joel Bruckenstein, Technology Tools for Today (T3) head, told ThinkAdvisor.

But there are more enhancements that stood out for him. “The analytics portion is significant,” for example, he said.

“As an industry,” he said, “we are way behind where we need to be with regard to business analytics, segmentation and outliers. There are a number of reasons for this, one being that previously, for many firms, the data needed was in multiple systems that did not talk to each other or, in the case of the custodians, they did not make the data available in a format easy for advisors to work with (or the advisors just do not have the in-house capabilities to do so).”

A customizable homepage, meanwhile, is “becoming more prevalent in the industry and for good reason: It can improve performance when advisors have the things they need at their fingertips,” he explained.

“I don’t know the full scope of this, but a role-based model is also essential,” he added. “If you are an advisor, you likely access some aspects of WealthCentral. If you are a back office person, you access different aspects. Each should be able to access what they need seamlessly. So, nothing groundbreaking here, but important.”

More Details

Wealthscape Analytics includes: business analytics providing actionable insights such as money movement trends to spot clients requiring attention; segmentation insights to help advisors tier their support models by age, revenue and other criteria; and data points advisors can use to discover outliers offering potential new opportunities, such as to introduce new services or help prevent client attrition.

Other updates to Wealthscape and Wealthscape Investor include: a customizable Wealthscape homepage; enhancements to the digital onboarding experience; advanced digital service functionality; a redesigned Wealthscape Investor experience; an intuitive, streamlined design; improved access to account information; and advanced security features.

Fidelity, meanwhile, said it continues to enhance Integration Xchange through new and deeper integrations and enhanced digital service features, making it easier for companies to manage an increasingly complex technology ecosystem.

The most recent Integration Xchange offerings include: enhanced digital service functionalities to enable advisors to monitor their digital certificate expirations and submit maintenance requests; expanded fintech integrations with Redtail, Wealthbox and Laserapp; and an enhanced user experience focused on analytics and digital service with “how-to” videos and FAQs.

Fidelity had AUA of $11.8 trillion, including discretionary assets of $4.5 trillion, as of Dec. 31, it said Thursday.

(Photo: Shutterstock)


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