Russell Program Judges Business Health
Russell Investments is launching the Advisor Health Index to help advisors judge the health of their business compared with the competition.

The Advisor Health Index is a single score that allows an advisor to compare his business to other firms to gain insight into the health of his practice. Scores range from 0 to 100. The higher the score, the more closely a firm's metrics match up to those of the top firms in its practice category. Russell also shows how the firm compares to benchmarks in five strategic business categories.

Benchmarks are based on data from 534 firms with $25 million or more in assets under management.

"Many firms face the same challenges and there are notable similarities in practice management across top-performing firms," says Sam Ushio, practice management consultant for Russell's U.S. advisor-sold business. "The goal of the Advisor Health Index is to facilitate a meaningful understanding of the metrics that drive the health of a business and provide a basis for comparison."

The new tool is available as part of

Paychex Acquires New Company
Paychex Inc., a provider of payroll, human resource and benefits outsourcing services for 401(k) plans for nearly 4,000 small and medium-sized companies, has acquired ePlan Services Inc. ePlan provides record-keeping and administrative services for defined contribution plans.

ePlan includes Web-based technology with tools for financial advisors and fee-disclosure practices built into the system. The acquisition is designed to allow Paychex to expand its services to financial advisors while providing greater transparency into fee structures as the market shifts to full disclosure models to comply with consumer and legislative demands.

RBS Launches Exchange-Traded Notes
RBS Securities Inc. has launched three exchange-traded notes (ETNs) issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland N.V. to investors in the United States. The notes include the RBS US Large Cap, Mid Cap and Gold Trendpilot Exchange Traded Notes.

Each provides access for U.S. investors to large-cap, mid-cap or gold indexes. The large-cap ETN's returns depend on the relative performance of the S&P 500 TR Index on a simple historical 200-day moving average basis. The mid-cap ETN depends on the relative performance for the S&P 400 TR Index on a simple historical 200-day moving average basis, and the gold ETN depends on the relative performance of the price of gold bullion on a simple historical 200-day moving average basis.

Insurance Technologies Offers Annuity Research
Insurance Technologies LLC is offering VisibleChoice, an annuity sales and research tool for advisors to help them complete due diligence on behalf of their clients. The program is designed to allow advisors to present annuity product recommendations to enhance their annuity-selling practices while reducing compliance risk and increasing sales suitability.