Fidelity Investments has expanded its referral strategies program for independent financial advisers, “Centers of Influence” (COI), with the launch of web-based resources at Referral-EDGE, where advisers can find prospective clients and network.

The database includes information on more than 2.5 million high-net-worth individuals, 1.5 million retirement plans and nearly 150,000 foundations and endowments. The database is searchable be geographic location, level of assets and professional and social affiliations.

“Referrals are often and untapped opportunity for advisers looking to grow their practices,” said David E. Canter, executive vice president and head of practice management and consulting at Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services. “Taking a proactive, hands-on approach to networking and prospecting can help advisers stand out from other firms in an increasingly competitive RIA marketplace. Referral-EDGE, combined with the existing ‘Centers of Influence’ and referral tools, is part of our ongoing commitment to delivering advisers innovative practice management resources to help them develop and execute a customized growth plan.”

“Referrals are a core component to our growth strategy, but it is often difficult to dedicate sufficient time to the task,” said Jacob F. Schutt, principal of Parallel Advisors. “With the help of Fidelity’s Referral-EDGE tool, we have created a new business development process that has resulted in significantly more leads. The targeted search capabilities of the new tools make it easier to uncover qualified prospects as well as help quickly identify referral opportunities through our existing client base.”

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