The growing popularity of fee-based advice is prompting mutual fund companies and other investment platform providers to upgrade the capabilities they offer advisers. Fidelity Investments is rolling out a product that allows registered investment advisors and broker/dealers to gain access to account information through a single entry point. National Planning Holdings, a broker/dealer network affiliated with Jackson National Life Insurance, is overhauling its fee-based platform as well.

The anticipated increase in fee business is part of the motivation for the improvements, both companies said. Though independent RIA firms have grabbed headlines with their fast growth, Fidelity sees plenty of fee-based growth ahead for banks, according to Anne Steer, an executive vice president at National Financial, the fund company's correspondent broker/dealer clearing business.

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