With over 2,300 attendees, Pershing's Insite 2014 started with a noticeable buzz today when the company revealed multiple technology enhancements to their NetX360 platforms.
“Simplification, personalization, customization and collaboration are the big themes we are using to overhaul and update our adviser and end-investor technology,” said Maggie Ramshaw, vice president of product strategy for Pershing Advisor Services.
Ms. Ramshaw's comments were part of the kickoff to Pershing's annual adviser and broker-dealer confab held this week in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
In its opening session, “The Dawn of a New Advisor Technology Age,” several of Pershing's top product developers showcased the new enhancements across all platforms that are anchored by NetX360, including their adviser workstation, investor-facing portal, managed-account platform, Albridge wealth reporting and upgraded mobile apps.
“One-third of Internet users are over the age of 50 and the fastest-growing adopters of the Internet are people over 70,” said John Berglowe, vice president of product strategy for Pershing. He is leading Pershing's effort to provide advisers with cutting-edge technology to enhance the user experience and provide a direct technology link between advisers and their end-client's investing information.
Mr. Berglowe used a blizzard of statistics to support the case that advisers need to provide their clients with an outstanding user experience through technology.
“According to a Boston College wealth management study, over $41 trillion in assets will change hands over the next 10 years as part of the vast demographic wealth transfer that is occurring — and 86% of those inheritors will take the money and run, leaving their parents' current adviser,” he said.
Mr. Berglowe's message was clear: Advisers need to care about the next generation of investors and deploy the latest technologies to attract and maintain relationships.
Key enhancements to NetXInvestor (formerly known as NetExchange Client) announced were a new user interface, site simplicity, improved navigation and the ability to personalize the end-investor experience.
“We've had over 1 million logins by end-investors and the process went smoothly,” Mr. Berglowe said.
Ms. Ramshaw walked the audience through the latest enhancements to the NetX360 adviser workstation platform. Chief among those touted was a new user interface designed to enable advisers to customize the adviser experience by role and better collaborate within their firm and with Pershing.
“Advisers, back office staff and reps all do different functions in their day and to accommodate that, we are making NetX360 flexible to handle multiple user experiences,” she said.
As part of the simplicity focus, Pershing has “de-cluttered” the NetX360 screens and streamlined navigation through grids, split screens and tiles. “Advisers told us that their older eyes have a hard time seeing tiny fonts and locating the critical information they need to do their jobs effectively,” Ms. Ramshaw said.
Other key enhancements Pershing highlighted were an integrated managed-account platform tied directly into NetX360 to drive efficiencies, along with an enhanced Wealth Reporting system from Albridge.
Additionally, new mobile apps that are native to all operating systems, including Windows 8, provided the “cool” factor and technology “bling” Pershing is developing to stand out in the crowded and competitive custodian marketplace.
Timothy D. Welsh is a certified financial planner and president and founder of Nexus Strategy, a consulting firm for the wealth management industry. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @NexusStrategy.