BrightScope, a data management company headquartered in San Diego, also lowered the premium prices for the platform. When BrightScope first launched Advisor Pages in April 2011, advisers could not change their profiles unless only if they paid a monthly subscription fee of $100, or $250 for a firm. (See “BrightScope Rolls Out Adviser Database.”)
Now, any adviser can update their profiles without having to take out a subscription, although a $25 monthly “Plus” membership permits them to add a profile tagline and write a more detailed description of their practice. The $95 monthly “Pro” membership highlights advisers in geo-targeted advertisements across the BrightScope website. It also reveals to advisers detailed analytics about who has been searching their profile—how many clicks, the individuals’ identities, how long they stayed on the profile, what they examined, and how they were directed to the website. Advisers can even tailor what search activity information they want to see.
BrightScope’s Advisor Pages receive more than half a million individual views each month, Sonia Ahuja, executive vice president of business development and strategy, tells PLANADVISER. Ahuja declines to disclose how many adviser subscribers the platform currently has, but she believes the new pricing model and enriched features will attract “several hundred thousand” subscribers.
BrightScope has enhanced the Advisor Pages platform with “Badges” that highlight those advisers with a “Clean History” or who are industry “Veterans” with at least 12 years of experience or more. “We believe this will enable advisers to become more engaged with consumers,” Ahuja says.
Asked whether the data that BrightScope culls from the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Form ADV and FINRA’s U-4 filings is current, Ahuja notes that BrightScope has 25 data analysts constantly culling through the filings. Company software automatically identifies outlying data that appears incorrect. That sends a signal to the company’s BrightScope data analysts to follow up and verify the information firsthand.
As to how Advisor Pages can benefit retirement plan adviser specialists, Ahuja says many of the investors using the platform are concerned about their 401(k) plans and may be interested in hiring an adviser to provide advice or wealth management services. For those advisers looking for plan sponsor prospects, Ahuja notes that BrightScope rolled out its Beacon sales prospecting tool in October 2010. Beacon collects detailed information on retirement plans from the Department of Labor’s Form 5500 as well as audit statements.