Fidelity Benchmarks Technology Use
Fidelity Investments is launching a Technology Benchmark Evaluator to help registered investment advisors benchmark their use and management of technology against some of the top-performing firms in the industry.

The tool's data comes from a recently released study, Integrating Technology Best Practices in Your Business: Opportunities for RIA Firms, 2008, conducted for Fidelity by Moss Adams LLP.

"Asset values have declined, yet advisors' primary expenses-people and technology-remain largely fixed, likely cutting into their profit margins," says Edward O'Brien, senior vice president, Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services. "As a result, enhancing profitability through greater efficiencies has become critical. Our new tool provides advisors with insights and ideas into how they can achieve greater efficiencies through the management of technology."

RIA firms of all sizes say technology is one of the top three things they would like to improve and 86% say technology is a key factor affecting their success or is critical to their success, according to the Moss Adams survey.

The new Fidelity tool allows advisors to enter data about the firm and its use of technology. The data is then compared with that of top firms across the country. The report also offers best practices from the top-performing firms. Additional information and access to the Fidelity benchmarking tool is available at

MetLife Offers Pension Help
MetLife Broker Dealer Group is creating a Pension Resource Center, available for registered representatives through MetLife broker-dealers, MetLife Securities, New England Securities, Walnut Street Securities and Tower Square Securities.

The sales support network will provide services and consultation for the company's representatives focusing on the small to midsize business market, helping reps negotiate the marketplace and regulatory environment. Additional information can be found at

FTSE Creates ETF And Index
FTSE Group has elected the FTSE Global Small Cap ex US index as the basis for a new Vanguard exchange-traded fund. The index tracks the performance of more than 3,100 small-cap stocks located in 47 countries outside the United States.

FTSE is also launching the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global Indices. FTSE's new global indices now represent a composite of both developed and emerging market subsets, providing a tool for real estate investors seeking additional granularity in tracking global real estate markets.

Curian Introduces Tactical Strategy
Curian Capital, a registered investment advisor that provides a fee-based separately managed account platform, is expanding its custom portfolios by adding the Curian Tactical Advantage Strategy.
This incorporates a proactive approach to managing asset allocation within defined parameters inside a client's base investment policy. The goal is to capture incremental returns over time by tilting portfolio weightings toward attractive asset classes based on the cyclical trends in the market.