Advisers are the main beneficiaries of these improvements. Fiserv said the enhancements answer the increased demand for holistic advice and operational efficiency in managed accounts.
When managed accounts first rolled out 30 years ago, they were standalone from the separately managed accounts, explained Hilary Fiorella, vice president of marketing strategies and professional services at Fiserv. “The proliferation of different account types meant that firms had to manage multiple platforms,” Fiorella told PLANADVISER.
The Unifed Wealth Platform creates a single architecture for advisers, Fiorella said, so that single-account registration can be used to manage multiple types of accounts: “The adviser has one view into the account,” she said. “And in our case, it’s delivered in a single-user interface that is very intuitive, point and click.”
One of the features for advisers with discretion over assets on the platform is expanded access and control across models. Advisers can manage assets and trade across all managed account programs, including rep as portfolio manager, exchange-traded funds and mutual fund advisory in one location for greater efficiency. Advanced modeling capabilities allow advisers to present various scenarios in client discussions.
The user interface improvements to the Unified Wealth Platform reflect the next generation’s vision of managed accounts, according to Cheryl Nash, president of investment services at Fiserv. “This is a fresh look for Fiserv,” Nash said. “Clients who are adopting the new features of our platform are benefiting from its innovative design, consolidated views across accounts and, above all, the unparalleled integration of the front, middle and back office, as well as the resulting benefits for investors, their advisers and firms.”
Middle-office operations professionals also will benefit from new capabilities. Fiserv has redesigned its operations user interface, adding improvements to processing, speed and usability, so new clients migrating to the Unified Wealth Platform will find it easy to learn. The Quick Access Toolbar provides a consolidated view of frequently used global functions, such as sleeve selection, universe selection and account searches.
Fiserv data shows that model portfolio assets are on the rise. From the fourth quarter of 2011 through the fourth quarter of 2012, model portfolio assets climbed to $201 billion. Assets of that size require extensive tracking. In order to provide investment managers with greater insight into assets under advisement in the model programs in which they participate, Fiserv has added model manager reporting capabilities. An optimized login process provides single sign-on access to the platform’s middle-office component.
Fiorella explained that model data reporting allows the asset manager to track usage, ensure they are being paid appropriately and to see how successful they are with advisers. “It allows managers to oversee if a broker/dealer deviates from what they intended,” she said.
Unified Wealth Platform was introduced in 2011. (See “Fiserv Offers New Platform for Managed Accounts.”) Fiserv, based in Brookfield, Wisconsin, is a global provider of financial services technology solutions.