Leveraging the iPad

Feb 6, 2011 @ 12:01 am

By Davis D. Janowski

Wholesalers for J.P. Morgan Funds won't be able to complain about a bad back from hauling around a briefcase full of printed fund brochures and documents.

Like John Hancock Financial Services Inc. did a few weeks ago, J.P. Morgan Funds is equipping its 218 sales representatives with iPads. But J.P. Morgan Funds has also spent the past six months developing a dedicated iPad application available only on its intranet site.

“We are trying to get away from the fad effect of the iPad and really put it to work,” said Liesl Leach, head of digital marketing and advertising with J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

Simply relying on the Safari web browser in the iPad wouldn't have allowed the firm to leverage what makes the iPad special, according to Richard Chambers, chief marketing officer of investment management for the Americas.

“[The iPad application] provides you a level of flexibility, in terms of navigating versus using a browser, which makes it a much more effective presentation tool [than a laptop]. We wanted to take advantage of that,” he said.

Wholesalers can prepare ahead of time by selecting brochures and research videos to be downloaded so that they are instantly available without having to rely on the iPad's 3G or WiFi connection during meetings.

This also allows client advisers to navigate on their own during meetings, for instance, gliding through the many videos available from J.P. Morgan and third-party analysts. Wholesalers in turn can forward a link via e-mail on the spot.

The application is being tested by 50 of the firm's sales reps and will be rolled out to the remainder in April.

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