Ever since CheckFree announced its purchase of Integrated Decision systems (IDS) in early September, RIA's have been anxiously awaiting word on the future of this ill fated Fidelity/IDS venture. According to spokespersons at both firms, no decision has yet been reached on the future of the IDS software, however, both sides have committed to providing an answer to advisors within 30 to 60 days.
   In a May 2004 press release Fidelity Investments announced that it has established "a unique strategic relationship with New York-based IDS to offer registered investment advisors an institutional-level portfolio management and order generation system." Fidelity was supposed to provide a single point of contact for service and support for the IDS product, which is an integrated component of Fidelity's custody services.
   "We realize the importance of this information to advisors, and we are in constant communication with CheckFree to arrive at a solution," said Pat Jancsy, senior vice president of Fidelity's RIA Group. It is not yet clear whether the IDS solution will go forward. If it does not, Fidelity could explore the viability of using other CheckFree solutions such as APL and EPL.
   Jancsy went on to say that RIA firms participating in beta testing the IDS platform continued to maintain data on their existing PMS systems, so disruptions at those firms have been minimal.
   Alex Marasco, executive vice president and general manager of CheckFree Investment Services, confirmed that his firm was working closely with Fidelity to arrive at a solution. "The IDS platform is not totally built out", he said. "We are still in the process of evaluating IDS technology". Marasco suggested that going forward with the IDS implementation is one possibility, but there might be other, more cost effective options. He mentioned CheckFree's APL and EPL products as possible alternatives.