Brinker Capital said last week that it has inked a five-year deal with Checkfree Investment Services that ensures that Brinker will run its separately managed accounts business on Checkfree's existing APL program as well as transition to its new Enhanced Portfolio Lifecycle (EPL) through 2010.

EPL, Checkfree's new Web-based SMA technology, was built using the Microsoft.net operating system and user interface, into which financial service firms are increasingly networking. Atlanta-based Brinker said that most of its 95 investment managers and broker/dealer partners are turning to Microsoft.net to improve operational and cost efficiencies.

Brinker's Executive Vice President Alex Marasco touted CheckFree's next-generation SMA platform as offering "enhanced workflow capabilities [and] architectural design."

For its part, Brinker's goal is to further scale its business, which it has built to overseeing $5 billion since its inception in 1987, over the next five years and beyond.

"CheckFree Investment Services is moving in the right direction with CheckFree EPL," said Tim Henry, Brinker's chief operating officer. "[It] will be a highly accessible platform for our Web-based business. Its intuitive, user interface will greatly speed the processing of updates; we like what we see coming down the pike with CheckFree EPL."

Based in Jersey City, N.J., and founded in 1981, CheckFree provides payment processing and other back-office services. Approximately 80 sponsor firms and 125 investment managers currently use its open SMA APL platform.

One of the SMA industry's biggest stumbling blocks to growing assets and fattening profit margins has been the platform disconnect.

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