First Allied Securities Makes Enhancements to Advisory Platform

The broker/dealer First Allied Securities Inc. expanded its advisory platform, Guided Portfolio Solutions (GPS) to give affiliated advisers a practical approach to conducting fee-based business.

The GPS platform allows advisers to tailor client investment solutions based on individual risk tolerance and objectives across all programs managed on the platform.

According to Adam Antoniades, First Allied’s president and chief executive, the firm’s research revealed an industry deficiency, a consequence of the fact that most advisory platforms have been developed over time, making their offerings are fragmented, uncoordinated and managed on legacy systems that are inflexible, expensive or both.

“We developed a platform that addresses these issues and will increase our advisors’ profitability by helping them run more efficient practices; help our advisers construct more effective investment solutions for their clients; and be priced competitively,” Antoniades said.

Yanni V. Bousnakis, CFA, managing director of investment management at First Allied, describes GPS as sophisticated and simple. “The main problems with conducting advisory business are the numerous moving pieces and unnecessary complexity,” he said. “Whether advisers manage clients’ assets on their own or delegate the responsibility to an investment strategist or manager, they operate in the same environment and use a common set of tools to run proposals, select products, manage accounts and receive performance reporting.”

The level of efficiency within GPS has also allowed First Allied to reduce ticket charges and address a main barrier to advisers executing their own investment strategies, according to Bousnakis. “Weighing the incremental benefit of trading versus the incurred cost becomes less of a concern now. Our research indicated that a $9.95 ticket charge for equity, mutual fund and exchange-traded funds, which comprise the vast majority of adviser trading activity within adviser managed accounts, is the price point at which impediments to trading are diminished,” Bousnakis said.

First Allied has also rolled out two managed programs, Allocation Series and Manager Series. Allocation Series is a centrally managed wrap program that gives advisers access to investment strategists representing a wide range of disciplines, investment approaches and styles. In addition to its own asset management team the unaffiliated strategists Cougar Global Investments, New Frontier, Nuveen and PMC/Innealta will participate in Allocation Series.

Allied’s Manager Series is a selection of several hundred separately managed account strategies from the firm’s in-house asset-management team, institutional investment managers and boutique asset-management firms.