DTCC Forms Alternative Investment Advisory Committee
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) has formed an industry advisory committee to develop an automated, centralized and streamlined approach to processing alternative investment products.
Comprising a cross-section of the industry, the advisory committee will focus its immediate attention on five areas: new accounts and subscriptions, purchases and redemptions, commissions, position reporting and account maintenance. Additional areas of focus may include data exchange, offshore transactions and exchange-traded funds. The goal is to develop automated transaction processing, settlement reporting and other associated services to the manufacturers and distributors of alternative products, including trade reporting and processing, commissions processing, valuation and position reporting and account maintenance.
The alternative investment market, including hedge funds, managed futures, private equity/debt and other nontraditional stock and bond instruments, has boomed in recent years. The majority of these trades are processed manually, making the complex paperwork labor-intensive and time consuming. Available technology is largely expensive, unscalable and proprietary, and there is no standard system for processing trades.
DTCC is working closely with the industry, as it did in creating Fund/SERV in 1986, says Ann Bergin, managing director for mutual fund services at DTCC and head of the advisory committee. Fund/SERV is the industry standard for processing and settling a broad range of investment funds and for linking fund companies with their distributor partners, including broker-dealers, banks and financial planners.

Waterhouse Issues Guide To Help Registered Reps Become RIAs
TD Waterhouse Institutional Services has introduced a comprehensive program for registered representatives who want to transition into independent registered investment advisors (RIAs).
A step-by-step guidebook, Your Roadmap to Independence, provides a framework for evaluating whether to go independent, a strategic approach to the long-term implications and a roadmap for creating an efficient back office.
TD Waterhouse commissioned Moss Adams to create the guide. They also developed the Transition Assistant, an online tool that shows related costs and expenses.
For a free copy, or for more information, call (800) 934-6124 or visit TD Waterhouse at www.tdwaterhouseinst.com.

John Hancock Launches Succession Planning Sales Tool Kit
John Hancock has introduced a new business succession planning sales tool kit to help advisors educate clients about succession planning. The kit covers all aspects of succession planning, from simple key-person insurance plans to more complex buy-sell arrangements.
The kit contains a variety of materials including sales strategies, case studies, a producer guide and a CD-ROM. It comes with comprehensive support from John Hancock's Advanced Markets Group. To request a kit, please call (888) 266-7498 and select option 3, or e-mail advancedmarkets@jhancock.com.

Quick Entry Wizard Streamlines TOTAL Planning System Data Entry
Money Tree Software has developed a new Quick Entry Wizard as an addition to its TOTAL Planning System. The Quick Entry Wizard moves smoothly through the input of the essential data needed for creating plans.
The Quick Entry Wizard is available both as a desktop and Web-based tool. Fully functional versions of the TOTAL Planning System with the new Quick Entry Wizard are available for download from www.moneytree.com/downloads.htm.

Protective Life Launches Variable Annuity Product
Protective Life Insurance Company has released the ProtectiveRewards B2A variable annuity, which reduces the cost of owning the annuity over time by providing an annual credit that, in effect, offsets some of the ongoing fees.
Prospectuses may be obtained by calling (800) 456-6330.

Lincoln Benefit Offers New Features For The Saver‚s Index Annuity Series
The Saver‚s Index Annuity series now includes a 50 basis points higher cap for accumulated values over $100,000 and a provision in which customers can remove their money without surrender charges if the cap decreases by two percentage points or more, under changes announced by Lincoln Benefit Life, an Allstate Company.
Allstate agents and independent financial representatives appointed to sell Lincoln Benefit Life Company products may obtain more information by registering and logging onto www.accessallstate.com.