A wealth management executive with a Wisconsin banking company said that its test of a system to unite its brokerage and trust functions is going well.
Brian Lucareli, the senior vice president and director of wealth advisory services at Johnson Bank, in Racine, said that the Advisor Solutions system "allows us to offer a more consistent client experience. Now we're more in sync with what we're doing elsewhere in the corporation."
Johnson Bank has been testing the system, from National Planning Holdings Inc., for about six weeks. The Web-based portfolio management and reporting platform is designed for financial companies that are implementing an advisory model within their practices.
Mr. Lucareli, who handles assets of $4.3 billion at Johnson, said the platform will allow the bank to go to from a transaction-based system to a fee-based one.
"It's night and day in terms of information that the advisers can now access," he said.
Mr. Lucareli said Advisor Solutions accommodates both the treasury and broker-dealer side of the business.
"It's one thing to say that fee-based is good for the client, but now it's true on the broker-dealer side as well," he said.
The system "allows us not just to talk about bringing trust and brokerage together, but to actually do it," Mr. Lucareli said.
National Planning Holdings, a unit of Jackson National Life Insurance Co. of Lansing, Mich., will roll out the platform this fall. James Clements, a senior vice president of investment advisory services for the unit, and the architect behind Advisor Solutions, said the platform streamlines advisers' day-to-day operations while integrating a series of online institutional money management tools and flexible reporting options.
Mr. Clements said the company spent a year talking with bankers to find out what they needed from such a system.
"They wanted access anywhere, and the ability to integrate a lot of pieces together," he said. "We are totally integrating."
Mr. Clements said the platform has successfully integrated several components, including a custodian component.
Lynn Niedermeier, the president and chief executive officer of Invest Financial Corp., which is part of National Planning's network of broker-dealers, said banks are crucial to National's strategy.
She said that the challenge was to make the system easy for banks to use and allow them to do all their trading on one platform.
"We think this is a very comprehensive desktop system," she said. "It allows the [sales] reps to actually make the investment decisions. And the system will now be virtually paper-free," sparing banks time-consuming use of spreadsheets.
Trust departments of banks in particular have shown interest in using National Planning Holdings' system, Ms. Niedermeier said.
Mr. Clements said that "most banks don't have a system to offer to reps. Without one I don't know how you can get into the business of advisory."
This is the first of a series of launches on the platform, he said. Seventeen percent of National Planning's revenue is in advisory, and its goal is to boost that to 25%, he said. It handles $8.5 billion in advisory business.
The platform also features automatic rebalancing, along with reporting tools, so advisers can access reports from the Advisor Solutions Web site. They also have the option to grant clients access to their accounts via secure login to the site.
"Advisor Solutions is an extremely flexible platform that gives advisers greater control over their clients' portfolios and makes the money management process more efficient," Mr. Clements said.
To acquaint advisers with the platform, National Planning Holdings is offering one-hour online training sessions weekly through AdvisorView, a Web portal designed for each of its affiliates.