Fidelity launches digital marketplace for technology integrations
Advisers can use the Integration Xchange to browse Fidelity APIs and third-party tools.
Fidelity Institutional has integrations with more than 100 third-party technology vendors and now it’s launching a new digital marketplace to help advisers make sense of all the tools available.
First announced in February, the Wealthscape Integration Xchange features a menu of technologies, such as financial planning, portfolio management and client relationship management, that explains what integrations are available. There are about a dozen third-party tools on the Integration Xchange currently, and Fidelity said it is adding more tools, and deepening integrations with existing providers.
Fidelity supported some third-party integrations through eMoney, which it acquired in 2015, but the Integration Xchange brings third-party technology support to advisers who don’t use the financial planning tool. Competing financial planning technologies like MoneyGuidePro are included in the marketplace, though Fidelity is able to offer deeper data integration and a robo-adviser with eMoney.
The Integration Xchange also includes options for independent firms to integrate parts of Wealthscape, Fidelity’s consolidated technology platform for RIAs and broker-dealers, into their own technology systems. For example, a firm could customize adviser-facing interfaces using a suite of programs for real-time data retrieval and processing.
Or it could add various Wealthscape functions to its client-facing website, while keeping the adviser’s branding intact.
There is support for receiving client-specific data from Fidelity’s core brokerage systems, inbound file processing, and integration with the Financial Information eXchange for managing orders and transactions.
The goal is to help advisers navigate the enormous marketplace of technology options available to them. Instead of looking at individual products, firms should decide first what kind of technology will best fit the needs of their users and their clients, said Tricia Haskins, vice president of digital strategy and platform consulting for Fidelity Institutional.
“By putting the building blocks all in one place, we’re simplifying the user experience and helping clients efficiently create the right technology offerings for their businesses,” Ms. Haskins said in a statement. “Integration is not 'one size fits all,’ and firms can mix and match solutions to build a unique platform that helps them deliver greater value, differentiate themselves and seek to meet the high expectations of today’s advisors and end-investors.”
With the Integration Xchange, Fidelity Institutional moves even further away from a walled-garden strategy of proprietary technology in favor of an open-architecture approach that lets advisers pick and choose their own tools. Even with eMoney’s integrations, Fidelity kept a more limited roster of integration partners. The Integration Xchanges moves Fidelity more in line with TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Veo platform which integrates with well over 100 tech vendors.
Fidelity isn’t the only firm embracing this approach. Pershing’s latest version of NetX360 supports more third-party integration, and Schwab Advisor Services is forming new integrations with Envestnet Tamarac and Orion.
Ms. Haskins said her firm understands advisers want to choose their own products, and Fidelity’s goal is to both enable that independence and to help optimize it. There’s also a changing mentality about the role technology plays in financial services.
While tech used to be solely to drive business efficiencies, increasingly, it’s about creating client experiences, Ms. Haskins said.
“It’s not just about the tools or products you’re using, it’s the purpose.”