Michael Kitces #FinTech

Raymond James rolls out fully integrated version of MoneyGuidePro

Called Goal Planning & Monitoring, the customized and fully integrated application will make planning a snap for advisers

Aug 17, 2012 @ 10:29 am

By Davis Janowski

Raymond James is going to continue scoring big points with their advisers, both internal and independent with availability of its Goal Planning & Monitoring software powered by MoneyGuidePro from PIEtech, Inc.

GPM is being formally announced this morning.

In development for months and already in piloted usage with 200 advisers the application is fully integrated and the Raymond James Advisor Access platform rolled out earlier this year.

“The idea is that with a single-sign on and then a single click on the adviser's client page they can open a plan with up-to-date holdings and values flowing in from our account system,” said Patrick O'Connor in an interview with Investment News early Friday morning. He is senior vice president of the Wealth Management Solutions group at Raymond James.

This should prove to be a big deal in terms of adviser efficiency when working on financial, retirement and other goal plans with clients.

Raymond James has begun a phased rollout of GPM this week and it should be available to all independent and branch advisers within the next three months.

The Wealth Management Solutions group will be providing training sessions and support as well.

GPM/MoneyGuidePro replaces various other homegrown or highly customized third-party financial planning tools that Raymond James has used on an enterprise level for years.

I was surprised to hear that only about 50 of Raymond James's thousands of advisers were already independently using MoneyGuidePro on their own, which is one of the most popular planning tools on the market.

While I did not receive a demonstration of the new set of tools this morning, it certainly sounds like the integrations and customizations that tie it to the larger Advisor Access system are what will make it stand out.

“So when a plan is created and presented to a client the adviser can, if they choose to, share the plan snapshot with them and the client can in turn use PlayZone or the “What Are You Afraid Of?” tool to look at other hypothetical situations they might forsee,” said Mr. O'Connor.

There are hooks between the planning piece and the Raymond James customer relationship management system behind the scenes as well.

“When you create a prospect it is populating our CRM tool in the background and picking up on that information as well,” he said.

The firm's 1,500 employee-advisers use a customized version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, known internally as “Client Center.” The Dynamics-based system is available to the roughly 3,300 affiliated independent advisers as well, many of whom have begun migrating to it.

Dynamics, which has been used by the firm overall for six years now, is a good fit for the re-engineered Raymond James platform, Advisor Access, as it is built on top of the Microsoft .Net architecture.

And Dynamics naturally has strong integrations with Microsoft Outlook.

Advisor Access was built from the start to better integrate information from 20 different important data systems at Raymond James.

“Our focus, our goal is that everything is one click away and all contextual, from an FAs perspective it fits the bill, we heard from a lot of our advisers at our national conference telling us this is what they wanted and we think we have delivered,” said Vin Campagnoli, senior vice president of Raymond James Private Client Group Technology Strategy and Development.

Mr. Campagnoli was referencing a setting I have heard about from several RJ advisers over the last few months. The firm set up an area at the conference where advisers could get hands-on with the new platform and see demonstrations but perhaps more importantly explain what new features they wanted or changes made.

“GPM is a perfect example of the investments we're making in technology to support advisors while reinforcing our firm's 50-year history of emphasizing financial planning as an integral part of a client-centric advisory process,” said Mr. O'Connor in today's prepared statement.

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