In the perpetual race to keep advisors well equipped, efficient and loyal, Cetera Financial Group has just launched a technology platform for its investment adviser representatives.
Two of Cetera’s independently managed broker-dealers—Financial Network Investment Corp., and Multi-Financial Services Corp.—are testing the platform with a pilot group of advisors. Cetera, based in El Segundo, Calif., plans a fuller rollout in several months, the company announced on Tuesday.
FolioDynamix, a New York-based business solutions provider that specializes in the wealth management industry, designed the system. Using the platform, advisors can automatically rebalance portfolios in several ways. It can do so quarterly, and if allocations drift from specified targets because of market performance, the program will rebalance the clients’ holdings to realign them with original objectives.
“This rebalancing was the biggest bain of [advisors’] existence,” Barnaby Grist, Cetera’s executive vice president of wealth management, said in a phone interview. “Our goal was to crack rebalancing for them, [so they can] create models and rebalance in specific ways.”
Advisor can also set minimum dollar amounts for trades. “That is powerful, because different advisors have preferences for that. No one wants to incur too many ticket charges,” Grist said.
Advisors can also do the same trades for multiple accounts, instead of entering the same trade repeatedly individually for each client. They can model portfolios using the system, and generate investment proposals for clients.
If needed, an advisor at Multi-Financial or Financial Network could give a client a picture of his or her existing financial assets, compared with the expected allocation, risks and returns of the new investment proposal. And if the client gives permission, all of the parameters of the new proposal could be performed automatically.
All of these functions are integrated with SmartWorks, Cetera’s Web-based technology hub and advisor workstation. The goal there is to give advisors broad control over their fee-based businesses, while making their daily lives easier and more efficient, the company said.
“It pays for itself [by] allowing advisors to get out of spending a bunch of time managing models and day-to-day minutia,” Grist said. “When advisors get efficient systems, they translate that into growing their businesses. That is the only way we grow.”
More than that, Cetera is picking up the tab, which runs into millions, Grist said.
PrimeVest, Financial Services, Cetera’s third broker-dealer, is a self-clearing broker dealer that specializes in serving financial institutions. Grist said PrimeVest’s advisors will eventually get to use the new system, too, although he did not specify a time.