Fidelity Investments has added new features to its Advisor 401(k) platform-an effort, it says, to allow advisors to compete more effectively.
   The additions to the platform include a Web-based sales automation program, an online retirement planning tool and a program to facilitate fee-based services, according to the company.
   The platform, which was launched in 1998, includes more than 2,100 plans, 352,000 participants and $12.6 billion in total record kept assets.
   Studies show that more than 26,000 small- to mid-sized businesses, representing $52 billion in assets, search for a new 401(k) provider annually, according to Fidelity.
   "The 401(k) market is a prime opportunity for advisors," says David Liebrock, executive vice president of Fidelity Investments' Advisor 401(k) platform. "The percentage of small and mid-sized 401(k) plans switching providers is between 5% and 9% a year, and rising. Many small-business owners don't have the resources to independently address all the administrative and fiduciary issues associated with their 401(k) plans, and are looking for an advisor to help them."