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InvestmentNews takes advisers through the developments and innovations in technology that'll change the way you do business today and tomorrow.

Technology to boost customer service and lift AUM? It exists.

ByAllAccounts helps capture 401(k) and other similar assets without banging the door down

Dec 2, 2013 @ 11:32 am

By Sheryl Rowling

If I told you that an affordable technology could help you provide better service to your clients and increase your assets under management effortlessly, would you be interested? There is such a product, yet most advisers are not utilizing it. I'm referring to ByAllAccounts.

I should note that ByAllAccounts is not paying me and they did not ask me to write this article. I'm just an adviser who uses their service.

Consider this: How many clients actually pay attention to their 401(k) allocations? My estimate is zero. And how do advisers deal with this? Typically, every couple of years, the adviser will look at the client's 401(k) statement and recommend a contribution allocation that approximates a model strategy. This approach is less than ideal for the client and doesn't increase adviser billings.

With ByAllAccounts, 401(k) assets, as well as other outside accounts, can be downloaded daily into the adviser's portfolio accounting system (PortfolioCenter, Morningstar Office, Orion, etc.). This download enables integrated, continuing management and, importantly, allows the adviser to charge fees on these accounts.

With integration (and sophisticated re-balancing software), the adviser can apply location optimization strategies and cherry-pick from the plan's fund offerings.

As an adviser managing these outside accounts, you can bill clients on them as part of their overall portfolios. In my advisory firm, ByAllAccounts assets represent more than 10% of our AUM.

Many of you are likely thinking, "My clients will not want to pay for this."

I had the opposite experience! When I informed clients that we could now integrate management of their 401(k)s and other outside accounts (such as annuities and life insurance investments) along with the rest of their portfolios, the only reaction was excitement. Not one client complained about higher fees.

So, this is your chance to boost AUM without marketing to new clients, all while providing better service to boot. That's what I call a win-win.

What do you think? What kinds of technology have helped you boost AUM? Or how have you been able to bring in clients' 401(k) or other assets?

Sheryl Rowling is chief executive of Total Rebalance Expert and principal at Rowling & Associates. She considers herself a non-techie user of technology.

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