Fidelity using eMoney to create custodial competitor's nightmare

Platform for broker-dealers, RIAs and family offices aims to pull data from competitors

Feb 11, 2016 @ 1:26 pm

By Alessandra Malito

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Fidelity Investments has set its sights on the ultimate data dashboard for its advisers, likely using eMoney Advisor's technology and the financial planning software's relationships with custodial competitors.

The platform, called WealthScape, is the firm's expected single uniform platform, and will be for broker-dealers, registered investment advisers and family offices. The platform with Fidelity data is expected by the end of this year. The firm wants the dashboard to house and provide advisers the ability to manage multi-custodial data in 2017, and said eMoney is one of the options it is reviewing to do so.

eMoney is custodian agnostic and will continue to work with other custodians for its advisers, a spokeswoman said.

“Having multiple applications is never good,” said Tom McCarthy, senior vice president for product development at Fidelity.

The dashboard would tackle performance measures, modeling and advanced reporting, client profiling, proposal generating and fee billing, as well as provide automation and analytics through an eMoney integration. It will be a replacement to WealthCentral, the RIA platform, and StreetScape, the broker-dealer platform.

“I think it is a good concept but in reality they have a lot to do,” said Chris Casey, chief executive of WealthTechs, a new technology company that pulls custodial data for large firms. He said this offering would be better for smaller advisers, because larger advisory firms need more customization.

Along with aggregating multi-custodial data, eMoney will tie in with Wealthscape, offering the end client a portal to view their portfolios and work with advisers. The financial planning software, which Fidelity acquired this time last year, is integrated with numerous custodians, including TD and Schwab.

This may pose a problem for those other custodians, however. The data will be manageable, unlike the usual scenario where all sorts of technology platforms can pull data from custodians simply to get a snapshot of a client's held-away assets.

TD Ameritrade does not manage held-away assets, but it can view other custodian's data through third-party vendor integrations on its Veo One platform, a spokesman said.

Pershing LLC and its parent company BNY Mellon, acquired Albridge, a portfolio management software provider, that allows the firm to manage multi-custodial data on its NetX360 dashboard, said Patrick Yip, director of advisory market technology strategy at Pershing. He added that managing multi-custodial might one day go so far as to open accounts at other custodians.

Charles Schwab & Co. did not respond for comment.

Raef Lee, managing director and head of new services and strategic partnerships for the SEI Advisor Network, which also has a custodial branch, said custodians give up data all of the time, and it usually isn't a problem.

“As long as it goes to the adviser,” he said. “On Fidelity, it is a different level.”

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