Are You Ready for the Fiduciary Rule?

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The Department of Labor (DoL) Fiduciary Rule is to be phased in from April 10, 2017 to January 1, 2018, and the date is fast approaching for financial professionals who find themselves caught within the new legislature.

The crux of the debate is that the new rule expands the definition of a “fiduciary” in an investment advice role under the Employee Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). From April 10th it will include all advisors who work with retirement plans or even provide retirement planning advice, binding them legally and ethically to meet the standards of the status.

Weighing in at over 1,000 pages of legal documentation, the rule will have sweeping effects across the financial advisory sector. But the impact will vary across different types of advisor. Many observers suggest those who work on commissions, such as brokers and insurance agents, will be impacted most.

Legislative context

The DoL’s ruling is aimed at stopping the $17 billion a year the government claims investors waste in excessive fees. The idea is that the new regulation will stop advisers from putting their own interests in earning high commissions and fees, above their clients’ interests in obtaining the best investments at the lowest prices; the definition of fiduciary leaves no room for advisors to conceal any conflicts of interest.

As financial advisors grapple with the ever evolving complexities that develop from one of the largest legal changes to the industry since ERISA, it becomes clear that amongst all the issues, the many challenges can be converged into a single question: how can advisory firms, asset and wealth managers continue to grow within this new landscape? Read More

 

 

Financial Institutions Adopt Applet Approach

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The following is a summary of an article titled ‘Be Modular. A lesson for financial services’ written by Chris Allchin and Matt Austen.  InvestCloud’s Digital Applet Platform was designed from the beginning to provide financial institutions a digital Applet framework which supports this modular thinking for client communications, management, and automation.  The Applet capabilities are used by all types of financial firms, from independent RIAs to the world’s largest banking brands.

To continue reading the full article, click here

InvestCloud Announces Joint Business Relationship with PwC

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InvestCloud, LLC, the world’s largest Digital Applet Platform specifically designed to meet the needs of all types of financial services organizations, today announced that it has entered into a non-exclusive joint business relationship with PwC designed to accelerate adoption and implementation of the InvestCloud Digital Applet Platform. PwC will be a preferred implementation and strategy partner of InvestCloud focused on enterprise delivery and innovative development of new financial applet capabilities.

“InvestCloud has built an innovative and one-of-a-kind digital applet platform leveraged by 660 independent and institutional clients globally with over $1.5 trillion in assets on the platform,” said John Wise, CEO and Co-Founder of InvestCloud.”PwC is one of the largest strategic consulting organizations in the world, and has an excellent track record of connecting scalable innovative solutions like InvestCloud with some of the world’s largest financial brands. We are thrilled to partner with them to support our continued growth across the globe.

Click here to see the full press release.

InvestCloud Solves DOL Issues with Digital Advice Platform

By Colin Close, President InvestCloud

Is your broker-dealer ready for the Department of Labor’s new Fiduciary Standard?

You Can Be With InvestCloud’s Digital Advice Platform  

  • New DOL ruling requires that many retirement accounts now be managed using a fiduciary standard.
  • Millions of clients and trillions in retirement assets will be affected.
  • Firms need a cost effective way to align advice and client service to meet fiduciary standards.
  • InvestCloud allows firms to replicate the low-cost brokerage experience with a modern digital advice platform.

Millions of brokerage retirement accounts must now be advised using the fiduciary standard. Short-term impact to registered representatives and broker-dealers will be the migration of these assets into a fee-for-advice model.  The Best-Interest-Contract Exemption (BICE) is the alternative which requires additional client disclosures and heightened compliance oversight. InvestCloud’s Digital Advice Platform is used by hundreds of financial institutions across $1.5 Trillion in assets to automate your client advice, communication, and portfolio management capabilities.

InvestCloud’s Digital Advice Platform is the most customizable, cost-effective, fully integrated digital platform available today.  Our Applet based approach allows firms to scale the delivery of client advice, regardless of service model and account size.  Our proprietary MQMA (Multi-Question, Multi-Answer) risk profiling technology intelligently automates your custom KYC questionnaires, client onboarding, and investment policy statement by intuitively stepping your client through their own custom digital onboarding experience. The result: Client’s self-direct themselves to your own investment strategies and asset allocation models. Your own digital platform, your own service model, your own investment strategies, your own brand…all powered by InvestCloud. Going digital doesn’t mean you can’t be different.

CLIENTS   +    TECHNOLOGY   =    SCALABLE ADVICE AND SERVICE

Old Think
Smaller accounts are charged trading commissions or higher annual fee % due to low profitability and the increased maintenance/education required to service a mass-affluent client.  One service model forced onto all client types and sizes.

Singular Service Model
New Think
Clients individually choose their own level of service based on personal needs and portfolio requirements. Smaller accounts and digital-first clients operationally scale with client on-boarding and model portfolio automation applets with InvestCloud. High net worth clients choose the high-touch service model they demand with digital-first, full-service, and hybrid service models readily available for all types of clients.

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Clients are demanding digital services and cheaper advice models. High performance firms are leveraging InvestCloud’s Digital Advice Platform to quickly scale custom service models and meet the service demands for clients of all types and sizes.  The market is quickly responding and digital innovators are surfacing as competitive leaders. Grow your AUM by offering the service model your clients are asking for.

Cross the digital divide with InvestCloud’s fully integrated Digital Advice Platform.

Staging the Digital Experience – 10 Functional Steps for the New Paradigm

Staging the Digital Experience – 10 Functional Steps for the New Paradigm

Michael Smith

At InvestCloud’s User Conference, I led a session on Digital Experience. Function is the best filter for addressing methods to staging your firm’s adoption of digital communications. From the dawn of civilization approximately five thousand years ago, most of our communication was either face-to-face or in some written form. The evolution from the first written document to the printing press took over 1000 years, and from the printing press to the laser printer, it took about 500 years.  Approximately 20 years ago, Tim Berners-Lee added World Wide Web to the academic Internet. Against the revolution in communications that has occurred since, all of those previous changes were just slow multi-generational evolutions. There was plenty of time to digest them and consider the changes. However, it is not the same with our digital revolution. In this short span of 20 years, we have gone from rudimentary desk-bound web sites to nearly universal wireless connectivity with engagingly graphical tablet applets, phones that can price compare products, to watches that take our pulse remind us of our appointments and tell us if our stocks are up or down.

What degree has your firm engaged with this digital revolution? This is a key question for companies to find out what they are lacking and what they need to improve on. Is your company still living with a document-only paradigm where their version of digital experience is periodic PDFs sent as email attachments? Or has your company moved into the more competitive position of delivering interactive and integrated data-driven reporting?

One of the fundamental problems for making this transition has to do with how most application software is built. Even though most vendors have some sort of web front-end on their applications now, those applications are still hardcoded, and difficult to either integrate or customize. With InvestCloud’s proprietary technology, we are able to build a platform that can be customized by business analysts. As our program does not require programmers or hardcoding, we named it Programs Writing Programs(PWPTM). Within less than five years, InvestCloud has built over 150 functional applets, with more than 4000 custom screen views of those applets for our clients. The reason why this is possible is because PWPTM allows business analysts to do within days what would take a team of programmers several months or years to do due to hard coding. As a result, InvestCloud has made it both practical and affordable for any size firm to fully engage with this new digital experience paradigm.

Read more here: http://investcloudsolutions.blogspot.com/2015/06/staging-digital-experience-10.html

 

What’s Next For Client Portals: Part 1 – The Evolution

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In 2010, the “cloud” began to emerge as the dominant metaphor for a storm of application functionality that was migrating to the Internet. InvestCloud lead the charge in financial applications and was unique for several reasons. Unlike a typical startup, it was started by a group of experienced industry veterans. The core management team had deep technical knowledge of the financial services industry. They understood existing enterprise applications that drove the industry and was committed to building a comprehensive, fully integrated platform that was fully cloud native.
More importantly, InvestCloud created a groundbreaking model for creating new applet functionality. As discussed in a previous post, Programs Writing Programs (PWP) makes it easy and fast to create new fit-to-purpose applets. This code generator created huge implications for the scope of possibilities for this generation of client portal functionality. In our next blog post, we will talk more about it. From the integration of cloud apps from disparate platforms, to the creation of client specific custom views, we are now seeing a scope of functional capabilities that would not have been possible under the old software paradigm.
If you would like more information on InvestCloud’s comprehensive, fully integrated financial applet platform and how it can help you create a more competitive client experience, contact us at 888-800-0188 or visit us at www.investcloud.com
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Chicago Clearing Corp and InvestCloud, Inc. Announce New Partnership

InvestCloud, Inc, a provider of cloud-based front, middle and back office solutions focused on digitizing customer experiences and internal operations for global investment advisors, today announced a partnership with Chicago Clearing Corp., (CCC), a class-action claims recovery specialist. The partnership will deliver a technology solution for financial institutions to manage, file, and recover funds in securities class action settlements. Financial advisors within the InvestCloud universe will now have a turnkey solution that increases value to clients by streamlining the settlement process from beginning to end.

Today, most financial advisors rely on mailings or hard-to-track industry communications just to stay informed of existing settlements. Claim filing itself requires a significant amount of paperwork filing on behalf of the Advisor and/or client. InvestCloud’s customized Chicago Clearing Corp Applet will dramatically simplify this notoriously difficult process.

“InvestCloud has built an easily deployable and scalable first-class investment platform for every professional investment manager or financial institution. By partnering with Chicago Clearing Corp we are increasing our user experience and continuing to support our ongoing effort to improve advisor efficiency,” said John Wise, chairman and CEO of InvestCloud, Inc. “The partnership with Chicago Clearing Corp is yet another example of how we’re helping advisors to grow and achieve great results for their clients, while equipping them to become leaders in the industry.”

Read more by clicking here.