Merrill Tailors Mobile Tools to Advisor Demand

From an article published on March 22, 2012 by Tom Stabile

Merrill Lynch has shaped a rolling development strategy to consistently upgrade functionality on mobile devices for its advisors and wealth management clients – an approach that eventually should lead to the ability to construct portfolios and execute trades on tablet computers.

The focus on keeping an active and evolving pipeline of new tools has already led to a wave of features that came online in the past year, most of them in response to advisor demand, says Grande Bucca, managing director for business infrastructure and controls for the wirehouse. Some of the new features for smartphones or tablet computers, such as the iPad, include access to e-mail, research content, client financial data and performance reporting tools.

“We still think we’re at the very beginning here,” Bucca says. “Our people essentially want to be on the [main] platform itself. The tablet especially gives us more real estate and enables us to deliver more tools to the advisor.”

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Ten Ideas for Advisory Business Success from Mark Tibergien – Part 2

 

This post is a summary of a session from the MMI 2011 Fall Solutions Conference.  It is part 2 of a 2 part series.  You can read part one by clicking here.

The speaker for this session was Mark Tibergien, Chief Executive Officer of Pershing Advisor Solutions, a BNY Mellon company.

6. Don’t Forget About Business Continuity and Succession Planning

When Mark was looking for an advisor to manage his own money, one thing he avoided was solo practitioners, since they often do not have succession plans. He knew that he didn’t want to be looking for his teeth and glasses at the same time he would be looking for a new advisor!

The average age of principals is increasing and succession is a huge challenge, Mark informed us. The advisor population is skewed towards the upper end of the age range. There are just as many advisors who are ten years away from retirement as there are advisors that are three years away, he reported.

Mark emphasized that the fiduciary relationship with clients must be maintained and all efforts should be made to do everything in the client’s best interest. Putting a succession plan in place is definitely in the client’s best interest! Succession planning is a growing need, he said.

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