One sponsor claims the problems cited by advisors have been, and will continue to be, alleviated by new technologies.

"This is a never-ending quest the industry is getting better at," says Harry Groom, president and CEO of AdvisorCentral, a data aggregator and co-sponsor of the study. "You‚re still going to have this continuing quest of enabling software packages to talk to one another."

Advisors, it would seem, agree that more work is needed. The survey found that 75% felt integration of account information was a problem. It also found that 65% cited software integration as a problem, and 50% felt the constant need to upgrade software was a source of frustration. The need to remember multiple passwords was noted by 29% of respondents.

Advisors say the inability to integrate data and software creates work, and cuts down on productivity. They say, for example, that the inability to electronically download data into programs requires them to manually type in the information. Typing client data into separate computer programs that can‚t communicate with one another was cited as a similar problem.

More than half of advisors say they have difficulties providing clients with integrated statements that include all their investable assets, including those they don‚t manage.

The author of the study says part of the problem may be that advisors aren‚t aware of some of the integration solutions that are available.

"Investment product and service providers should step up efforts to make planners aware of any client account download and integration capabilities they might have," says Nanette Cuccia, president of Pyramid.

Former Barnett Banks Executive To Head Trust Company

National Advisors Trust Company, a trust company owned and run by 110 independent investment advisors, has appointed a new chief executive officer.

The company, based in Overland Park, Kan., has hired Michael C. Baker, former president and CEO of Barnett Banks Trust Co., to the position. Dave Roberts, who he will replace, will continue to serve as company president.

The trust company says the change takes place at a time when the company is offering a new level of service to advisors. The company recently announced a joint alliance with Fidelity Investments and SunGard that will give the company‚s owners, and their clients, a platform that integrates broker-dealer, custodial and trust services.

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