Fidelity recently unveiled its vision for its next generation “total advisor” technology platform, a platform designed to help registered investment advisors, broker-dealers, banks and family offices digitize their businesses.
The new platform, developed in close collaboration with Fidelity’s clearing and custody clients, centers around a new workstation, Wealthscape, which will serve as a gateway to connect firms to new Fidelity tools and third-party solutions, including eMoney Advisor’s wealth planning software.
The Wealthscape name may sound familiar to those of you familiar with Fidelity’s current technology platform offerings. Today, Fidelity offers a platform called WealthCentral, which is primarily designed for independent RIAs, and Streetscape, the platform that primarily supports broker-dealer reps and hybrid advisors. The Wealthscape name is meant to represent the melding of these two platforms into a single, comprehensive one. Although it has not been obvious to casual observers, Fidelity has been taking steps behind the scenes for a number of years to integrate all of the functionality that financial intermediaries might need into a single platform. Wealthscape is the culmination of that effort, and a lot more.
“Advisors today are faced with a paradox of choice,” says Ed O’Brien, head of technology for Fidelity Institutional. “Technology options have grown exponentially in recent years, making the mapping of technology time-consuming and complicated. For firms that want help designing their technology architecture, our “total advisor platform” removes the guesswork of linking it all together. For firms that want to manage their own technology, Fidelity remains committed to an open architecture environment.”
The new Wealthscape total advisor platform is designed to drive transparency, efficiency and growth for three types of users:
• Financial advisors will benefit from advanced analytics, automated work flows and an integrated suite of portfolio management solutions, all supported by a consolidated data platform that Fidelity says will be multi-custodial. Those advisors who leverage eMoney’s eMX suite of software will benefit from deep integration with Wealthscape, allowing them to move swiftly from collaborative planning with clients to taking actions, such as trading or moving assets.
• End investors, the clients of advisors, will have access to a new, improved client portal. Advisors using eMoney can offer their clients an investor experience deeply integrated with Fidelity’s clearing and custody capabilities, which enables them to organize their financial lives in one place.
• Home office professionals will be able to focus their team on higher value activities through integrated work flows and tools, such as data visualization, to comprehend and act upon advanced analytics.
O’Brien, who introduced Wealthscape at the recent Technology Tools for Today (T3) Advisor Conference, framed the development of Wealthscape as a simplicity play, one that takes a complex technology landscape and simplifies it for Fidelity clients. He highlighted five areas of emphasis, or “Big Plays” for Wealthscape.
Big Play No. 1 is a deep integration with eMoney, empowering advisors to move seamlessly from planning to action. For the investor, this means Fidelity communications (such as statements, trade confirmations, etc.) delivered directly to the eMoney client vault. Investors will be able to enroll for eDelivery and perform account maintenance tasks from within the eMoney portal as well. For advisors, this means a holistic view of their business from within eMoney. This play is piloting in the first quarter of 2016, to be followed by general availability later this year, with further enhancements thereafter.