Pershing expands managed account platform, boosts alts information

Adviser custodian and B-D clearing firm faces competition for assets with Fidelity, Schwab

Jun 4, 2014 @ 3:08 pm

By Trevor Hunnicutt

Pershing Wednesday announced updates to its alternative-investment resources and managed-account platforms for advisers.

Pershing's managed account platform — among the industry's largest — will now be available even to broker-dealers who do not use Pershing's clearing or custodial services. It will include a program that generates investment proposals and the ability to build their own model portfolios, the firm said in a statement.

And the firm is also rolling out new alternatives education resources as broker-dealers and registered investment advisers grapple with the compliance concerns and other complexities around a deluge of new “liquid alts” funds that promise returns not correlated with traditional asset classes, like stocks and bonds.

(Read what Nexus Strategy's Tim Welsh has to say about Pershing's other tech upgrades.)

The firm is expanding a proprietary list of recommended no-load mutual funds, known as FundVest 200, to include new alternative asset class categories: domestic and international real estate, credit/event-driven funds, managed futures, absolute return and multi-strategy funds.

The company announced the details as it launched updated technology platforms for advisers Wednesday at its INSITE 2014 conference in Hollywood, Fla.

In announcing the updates, the company is acknowledging some top-of-mind investing issues for advisers as well as competition from other custodians and clearing servicers.

Those competitors include Fidelity Investments, which last October launched an alternative investment platform with third-parties, featuring Morningstar research, hedge fund portfolios sourced by Goldman Sachs and access to a clearinghouse of hedge funds.

And the Charles Schwab Corp. last November announced white-label mobile apps for advisers and new portfolio management tools.

Both firms are in the managed account space as well. Pershing's platform is the second largest by third-party assets, next to Envestnet, according to Cerulli Associates. Schwab and Fidelity follow in the third and fourth slots.

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