Schwab Offers Integrated Technology Platform
Charles Schwab, provider of custodial, operational and trading support for independent investment advisors, is developing an integrated technology platform to allow advisors to integrate systems that now operate independently of each other in many advisory offices.

The system, Schwab Intelligent Integration, is being created to streamline work in advisor offices that now have multiple technology platforms. Multiple technology applications often require advisors to re-enter client data in several applications or to access many systems in order to answer a client's questions, thereby slowing down workflow.

Intelligent Integration is designed to allow those systems to work together, thereby reducing redundant work for advisors and freeing more of their time for client interaction and new client development.

Schwab will be working with third-party technology vendors to develop the services advisors need, including client relationship management, portfolio management and financial planning. As part of the process of selecting these vendors, Schwab is asking advisors to vote for the technology providers they prefer. Voting is possible through the new Intelligent Integration Web site, which also includes information on the system and a link to a recent Webcast Schwab held for advisors on the system.  Information can be found at

National Planning Holdings Launches WealthOne
National Planning Holdings Inc., a Santa Monica, Calif.-based independent broker-dealer network, is offering WealthOne, a Web-based advisory platform that includes an array of investment strategies and products from money managers.

The new platform offers access to managers following strategic and tactical investment approaches. It also allows direct access to the platform from a broker-dealer's Web site. The platform's advisory portal enables asset managers to build model portfolios by creating their own custom asset allocations.

BlackRock Increases ETF Offerings
BlackRock Inc., San Francisco, has launced nine iShares exchange-traded funds that offer both developed and emerging market exposure in the international sector.

The new funds each track their respective MSCI All Country World ex USA sector index and have an expense ratio of 0.48%. The expansion is designed to help advisors fine-tune their clients' international exposure and to allow institutional investors to become more tactical internationally.

Hartford Expands College Savings Program
The Hartford is expanding its 529 College Savings Program in West Virginia by establishing a relationship with Upromise Investments and adding new options.

The relationship will give Hartford customers a more flexible account management platform that includes more benefits and rewards programs. Also, the SMART529 age-based portfolios will now include more age bands.

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