LPL Financial continues to deepen the bench of third-party technology available to its financial advisers this week.
The nation's largest independent broker-dealer announced Thursday that SS&C Advent's Black Diamond Wealth Platform, a portfolio management and reporting software popular among registered investment advisers, is the latest to join the LPL's Vendor Affinity Program, its list of approved third-party technologies.
Rockie Zeigler, founder and president of LPL-affiliated RP Zeigler Investment Services, said the firm is following through on the promise to give advisers more choice with technology. Though he doesn't have immediate plans to adopt Black Diamond, he does intend to give them a look.
"I think LPL is trying to make life for the RIAs that custody with them easier," Mr. Zeigler said. "When ClientWorks was first announced, other than just being an upgraded version of BranchNet, a big selling point was third-party integration. It just hasn't really happened yet."
That's changing in 2018. Earlier this week, LPL announced Riskalyze is now integrated with ClientWorks.
Black Diamond doesn't yet have the same level of integration, but Bob Conchiglia, vice president of advisory sales at Advent Software, said being a member of the Affinity Program does allow for two-way data flow and single-sign on with LPL's platform. A full integration with ClientWorks is on the roadmap.
Though LPL advisers have been asking for access to Black Diamond for some time, Mr. Conchiglia said LPL puts technology vendors through an extensive vetting process that took nearly two years to complete. The company did a lot of work to build specific reporting that meets LPL's oversight needs, he added.
"They want to do business with third-party providers that meet all their security and compliance requirements," Mr. Conchiglia said. "It was a good process to go through that. They are very strict on a lot of the security protocols."
The majority of the 1,200 firms that use Black Diamond are registered investment advisers, but the technology has recently attracted greater interest from independent broker-dealers. Earlier in July, Western International Securities selected Black Diamond as its portfolio management, reporting and client portal platform of choice.
Mr. Conchiglia attributed this win to the firm adding new features to Black Diamond designed specifically for IBDs, such as adding rep payouts to the billing function.
This will help LPL's 16,000 advisers, especially those with an IBD-RIA hybrid, get the most out everything Black Diamond has to offer, he said.
Black Diamond is the fourth performance reporting solution available to LPL advisers, joining Morningstar Office, Orion Advisor Services and Albridge Sollutions, which is an affiliate of BNY Mellon's Pershing.
"Performance reporting is in an integral component to the life cycle of client management, and there are several quality solutions in the marketplace that we know our advisers value," said Burt White, LPL chief investment officer, in a statement.
LPL did not respond to requests for comment.