Fidelity Launches New Resource
Fidelity Investments, a provider of custody and clearing services for registered investment advisors, is expanding its Practice Management Program to help advisors accelerate their business growth by developing referral networks.

The new program is called "Centers of Influence," and is designed to help create them. While 51% of advisors' new business comes from referrals, only 20% of advisors consistently ask clients and business partners for referral introductions. To close this gap and help advisors grow their businesses, Fidelity is rolling out a broad range of new resources including regional workshops, a detailed guidebook, a tool for promoting best practices and one-on-one consultations with Fidelity managers.

"With more and more advisors joining the RIA market and competing for clients, referrals are critical to helping advisors grow their practices," says Michael Kim, senior vice president at Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services and head of the Practice Management Program. "These new resources can help them cultivate existing influencers, establish new referral sources and generate qualified business tools."

The Centers of Influence program will use marketing resources, white papers and interactive workshops. The subjects will include such things as "A Guide to Growing Your Business through COI and Strategic Alliance Marketing." A white paper will be produced on developing healthy strategic alliance relationships with other professionals, and a workshop will be held to help advisors act on these ideas.

Additional information can be found at

Schwab Rolls Out Reporting Tool
Charles Schwab, a provider of custodial, operational and trading support for independent registered investment advisors, is creating tools to help advisors prepare for upcoming changes in the reporting of adjusted cost basis for sold securities.

The Schwab Market Knowledge Tools report, "Preparing for the New Cost Basis Legislation," reviews the changes coming up in 2011 and outlines steps advisors can take now to prepare by creating a communication plan for clients and evaluating the impact the reporting changes will have on their firms' back offices. Additional information is available at

Putnam Funds Top $2 Billion
Putnam Investments' suite of four target Absolute Return Funds recently passed the $2 billion mark in assets, and $1 billion of that was achieved in the last six months.

The Putnam Absolute Return Funds topped the $1 billion mark in total assets in December 2009, less than a year after their launch. The funds pursue positive real returns above inflation over a period of three years with less volatility than traditional mutual funds. 

Putnam also launched a suite of U.S. multi-cap equity funds. Using both new and reconstituted products, the Putnam multi-cap suite will offer exposure to an array of stocks within the value, core/blend and growth universe.