The new president and chief executive of Marketing One plans to keep building its innovative Web site, CyberLink.
Joel Kaplan took the reins on Monday of the Portland, Ore.-based third- party marketing company, succeeding C. Paul Patsis, who resigned this month.
Marketing One provides investment product programs, technology, and wholesaling services to banks. The company is the second-largest third- party marketer to banks, behind Essex Corp., New York.
In an interview this week Mr. Kaplan, a lawyer who has been with Marketing One for four years, said he plans to rely on CyberLink to continue to distinguish the company from its competitors. CyberLink is considered to be the first password-protected Web site offered by a third- party marketer.
"I believe we have one of the most rigorous Web sites in the industry," Mr. Kaplan said.
Under Mr. Patsis, now CEO of Farmers New World Life Insurance Co., Marketing One initially spent $2 million to develop CyberLink, which lets bank brokers access an array of up-to-date market data and check on their customers' portfolio composition.
Marketing One used CyberLink as a competitive weapon when its big bank clients began to bring their investment product programs in-house.
This summer, Mr. Kaplan said, Marketing One will continue to enhance the site. It plans to begin beta-testing a program that will let customers work with their brokers to fill out orders on-line.
The program will ask a series of questions modified by customer responses. Questions later in the list will be skipped if a customer's previous answers make them irrelevant.
More commission data will be built into the system too, he said. As the modular CyberLink program is expanded, more and more timely information will be at the fingertips of brokers, eliminating the need for phone calls.
Richard Ayotte of American Brokerage Consultants Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla., said that Marketing One, as one of the first to build an Internet presence, succeeded in differentiating itself.
"It's a value-added thing," he said.
More banks will find they lack critical mass to maintain their own broker-dealers, Mr. Kaplan said. Those banks- he could not estimate how many-will look to outsource some of those functions to companies like Marketing One, he said.
CyberLink would be the "icing on the cake" for Marketing One as it positions itself to pick up some of those institutions, Mr. Kaplan said.