Four advisory units of ING Group have gone into partnership with a financial data aggregation company to offer online performance reports to advisers and clients.
StatementOne Inc. in Lawrenceville, N.J., said it will supply services to four of ING Advisors Network's five independent broker-dealers: Locust Street Securities Inc. in Des Moines, Multi-Financial Securities Corp. in Denver, and IFG Network Securities Inc. and Vestax Securities Corp., both in Atlanta.
StatementOne Inc.'s flagship product is StatementOne.com, a Web tool that consolidates statements and performance reports.
The company's data processing system automatically gathers, formats, and stores financial information from clearing houses and produces a report for any mix of accounts on a bank or broker-dealer Web site.
Lou Gerber, president and chief executive officer of StatementOne, said it is crucial for banks and brokerages to give customers quality aggregated information if they want to remain competitive.
The alliance with ING of Amsterdam shows how banks are slowly warming to the idea of account aggregation, he said.
"The goal is to provide the services that customers want and that open banks and brokers up to partnerships like this," Mr. Gerber said. Lines are blurring both inside and outside of banks, and "the team that brings the most value will ultimately win," he added.
The ING agreement is the first in a projected series of StatementOne partnerships with banks, Mr. Gerber said. The company has relationships with six financial companies, he said, including Financial Service Corp. in Atlanta, a financial planner, and he expects to close several deals in the next two months.
Using StatementOne benefits banks, Mr. Gerber said, by consolidating customer information and by allowing them to create reports and track product performance. At the same time, he said, it gives bank customers access to statements and account information in real time.
StatementOne has spent seven years developing its financial data network, according to Mr. Gerber. Its technology relieves banks and brokerages of the responsibility for data collection, which reduces financial advisers' labor and paperwork , he said.
Eric Pettis, a financial adviser at Locust Street Securities in Harrisburg, Pa., said third-party data collection and aggregation give advisers more time for clients.
"This gives me a real competitive advantage with my clients because it enables me to provide more timely and accurate financial advice," he said. "This value-added service is simple to use and easy to navigate and solves the challenge of manual data collection - typically performed by us."
Burton Greenwald, a technology analyst in Philadelphia, said sites like StatementOne show that banks are accepting aggregation. "Banks want to offer the best and the fastest services, and technology providers have to be a part of that equation. Aggregation has to be a part of that equation," he said.
With banks eyeing aggregation, last year was a big one for StatementOne. It got $17 million in venture capital funding in June and grew from six to 40 employees.
"We are delivering something that companies are in dire need of," said David Z. Orban, vice president of marketing. "They resisted it, but now everyone knows that aggregation is the future. Banks need data integration to compete, and we can provide that service now."