Pershing adds Signix digital signature technology to NetX360 platform

Electronic signatures have started to see wider acceptance from broker-dealers, says Laser App's Powell

Jan 28, 2014 @ 12:40 pm

By Joyce Hanson

+ Zoom
(Photo Credit: Hammer51012 via Compfight cc)

Pershing has added Signix's digital signature technology to its NetX360 platform, the two firms announced Tuesday at the Financial Services Institute Inc.'s OneVoice 2014 Broker-Dealer Conference.

Financial advisers on the clearing provider's platform will be able to use the compliant Signix technology to replace the time-consuming work of sending, receiving, fact-checking and filing paper documents, according to Signix executive vice president Pem Guerry.

The benefits of the Pershing addition include fewer errors and lower storage and copying costs, Mr. Guerry said. The broker-dealer industry has been behind in adopting the technology compared to other industries because clearing firms have been slow to accept electronically signed documents, he said.

“What is important about this deal with Pershing is that signing online provides many benefits versus signing on paper,” Mr. Guerry said.

Michael Nesspor, managing director of Pershing, said in a prepared statement that Pershing's legal and compliance teams reviewed “top e-signature vendors” before choosing Signix.

E-signatures are now gaining wider popularity in financial services, said Robert Powell, vice president of sales and marketing for electronic forms provider Laser App Software Inc.

“In the last year and a half, we've seen more excitement and adoption around e-signatures than I've seen in the previous eight or nine years,” Mr. Powell said, naming Signix along with DocuSign Inc., Adobe EchoSign and Silanis as the four primary e-signature vendors in the financial services space.

The U.S. government made electronic signatures legal with the Esign Act back in 2000, making e-signatures as legal as handwritten ones.

While the SigNix software is embedded in NetX360, Pershing's platform will accept other e-signature vendors' documents from advisers, Mr. Guerry said.

The differentiator for his firm's software is that Signix uses international cryptography standards to embed digital signatures permanently into documents, he said.

“Instead of applying an image to the top of the document, which is what an e-signature is, we embed the math of cryptography into the signature field, which becomes a part of the document. It can't be removed or altered without it being immediately evident that it was altered.”

However, DocuSign's chief legal officer, Ken Moyle, said Signix's differentiation claims are not valid.

“Essentially, the technology they're talking about is called public key infrastructure, and it's a way of tamper-proofing documents such as PDFs out in the wild. Any e-signature provider worth their salt uses a digital seal on their documents, and DocuSign certainly does that,” Mr. Moyle said.


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video


Wirehouse training programs are in vogue

At one time, major brokerage houses ran large, expensive training programs for thousands of young brokers, and now it looks as if they are about to return to that model.

Video Spotlight

Will It Last As Long As Your Clients Do?

Sponsored by Prudential

Video Spotlight

The Catalyst

Sponsored by Pershing

Latest news & opinion

Nationwide's 401(k) record-keeping fees are excessive, lawsuit claims

Plaintiffs claim practice of charging plans a percentage of assets is unreasonable.

Wealth management firms struggle with lower fees, fewer new clients

Advisers in North America earned less from clients last year and saw a decline in average fees, according to a new report by PriceMetrix.

These investors are allowed to put $500K into a Roth IRA at once

The HEART Act permits rolling all or part of life-insurance and combat-related-fatality payouts directly into the tax-free retirement plan, but few take advantage.

Labor's Alexander Acosta and SEC's Jay Clayton tell lawmakers they will work together on fiduciary rule

In separate appearances before Senate panels, the regulators stressed the cooperation that Republican legislators and opponents of the DOL fiduciary rule are demanding.

Brian Block denies cooking the books at Schorsch REIT

Former CFO claims everything he did was 'appropriate' and 'correct.'


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print