LPL kicks off major tech upgrades, cuts prices

Changes range from mobile to trading and portfolio rebalancing

Aug 19, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

By Dan Jamieson

LPL Financial LLC today announced major upgrades to its technology platform, ranging from mobile access to website branding, and portfolio re-balancing and trading.

Most notable among the upgrades is a new mobile capability that will give clients access to positions, transactions and statement information from their mobile devices. The new application, LPL Financial Mobile, will be available for iPhones, iPads and Android devices, LPL said at its annual adviser meeting in San Diego. It will be out later this year.

At the same time, LPL announced new functionality for the company's client-account access portal, Account View, including capabilities for advisers to brand their public web pages.

In a related technology announcement, the firm introduced an enhanced trading and re-balancing platform, which supports simultaneous trading across multiple accounts.

In addition, LPL has also rolled its e-signature, remote-deposit and paperless-storage technology into one system called the Streamlined Office suite.

The firm is rolling its main set of online tools into a core technology package with a price of $75 per month, which the company says is 50% less than current pricing for a typical adviser.

The separate trading and re-balancing program is $150 per month but is being offered free of charge through this year.

“I think it's a big deal,” Joel Bruckenstein, publisher of Technology Tools for Today, said about the changes.

“For the last few years, LPL has not been known as a leader in technology,” said Mr. Bruckenstein, who also runs the industry's T3 technology conference.

LPL chief information officer Victor Fetter was blunt when discussing some of the firm's tech stumbles.

“You've been disappointed [about] undeliverables, nagging issues, the inability to run on tablets [and] concerns around data accuracy,” Mr. Fetter told attendees. “Let there be no doubt … I heard you.”

Mr. Fetter and some of his staff detailed upgrades to LPL's tech platform, generating applause several times from the 3,700 advisers at the conference.

LPL has a 20,000-square-foot “digital town square” in the conference exhibit hall promoting the changes.

Mr. Fetter, the former chief information officer of Dell Online, was hired in December and has added 60 professionals to the existing LPL tech team.

LPL spokeswoman Betsy Weinberger said the firm declined to disclose the cost of its technology projects.

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