Tag Archives: MarketSquare

Schwab Advisor Services’ Brian Shenson addresses PortfolioCenter Hosted, OpenView Gateway, and Integrated Office offerings for advisers

In this video spotlight interview, Brian Shenson, vice president of Advisor Technology Solutions for Schwab Advisor Services met with me to update Schwab’s progress on a number of technology initiatives.

(For details on last weeks’ Schwab Tech Talk conference call, read RIA technology updates from Schwab Advisor Services’ Tech Talk series.)

Brian Shenson, vice president, Advisor Technology Solutions for Schwab Advisor Services

Brian Shenson, vice president, Advisor Technology Solutions for Schwab Advisor Services

PortfolioCenter Hosted

Clearly, Schwab Advisor Services recognizes the opportunity in offering advisers the ability to locate portions of their technology in the cloud.

The launch of PortfolioCenter Hosted, according to Shenson, is intended to simplify operations for advisers.

“We have over 3,500 advisers today relying on PortfolioCenter desktop, but they’re looking to simplify their operating model with cloud-based solutions,” said Shenson.

“PortfolioCenter Hosted allows [advisers] to have the same control and ownership of their data that they have today, but leverage Schwab’s backbone infrastructure to host their systems,” he added.

Schwab OpenView MarketSquare

I asked Shenson to elaborate on the resources Schwab provides when it comes to the various integrations supported by PortfolioCenter and other Schwab Intelligent Technologies’ resources.

Schwab OpenView MarketSquare is the latest resource Shenson highlighted to educate advisers on their technology purchase options.

“[OpenView MarketSquare is] not meant to replace other resources advisers rely on to learn about technology”, said Shenson, “but we think we have a unique opportunity to create voice to the adviser’s perspective on the technology they use to help inform other advisers before making that purchase decision for a particular technology.”

Schwab OpenView MarketSquare™ provides technology ratings and reviews, exclusively by and for advisors who custody with Schwab Advisor Services™

Schwab OpenView MarketSquare™ provides technology ratings and reviews, exclusively by and for advisors who custody with Schwab Advisor Services™

Visit Schwab OpenView MarketSquare online at http://www.schwabintelligenttechnologies.com/MarketSquare

OpenView Gateway versus Integrated Office

Finally, there still is confusion over the differences in the two primary back office offerings from Schwab Advisor Services, OpenView Gateway and the Integrated Office.

I asked Shenson to identify the type of advisory firm to which each solution is best suited.

“Many advisers have already made substantial investments in their technology infrastructure, and for them we wanted to work with best-of-breed providers and build integrations to those platforms. That is what we designed with OpenView Gateway,” said Shenson.

The alternate solution, Integrated Office, is a complete “office in a box” offering.

“Many advisers are looking for incredible simplicity in their operating model,” said Shenson.

“They’re looking to us as a provider to offer an integrated solution where all the pieces are designed to fit very well together. For them we offer the Integrated Office.”

(click to watch on YouTube)

Schwab Advisor Services’ Neesha Hathi discusses innovation, differentiation, and pending technology rollouts

After spending several months on the road, spotlight video interviews are back!

Neesha Hathi is senior vice president of Advisor Technology Solutions at Charles Schwab and a member of the senior leadership team for Schwab Advisor Services.

Neesha Hathi is senior vice president of Advisor Technology Solutions at Charles Schwab and a member of the senior leadership team for Schwab Advisor Services.

I recently had the pleasure to sit down and speak with Neesha Hathi, senior vice president of Advisor Technology for Schwab Advisor Services, on a number of topics.

In this seven-minute video, Hathi highlights how Schwab is able to maintain its agility in innovation despite its large size as an organization.

For details on all of Schwab’s recent announcements, see RIA technology updates from Schwab Advisor Services’ Tech Talk series posted here yesterday.

Hathi also explains how Schwab Advisor Services has gathered extensive feedback from their advisors to enhance the web trading platform in use by thousands of firms everyday.

(click here to watch on YouTube)

RIA technology updates from Schwab Advisor Services’ Tech Talk series

Neesha Hathi, Senior Vice President of Schwab Advisor Services

Neesha Hathi, Senior Vice President of Schwab Advisor Services

In a move to be more visible and transparent, Schwab Advisor Services launched a periodic series of conference calls called Tech Talk, featuring the latest updates on Schwab’s technology and related services for independent investment advisors.

Here are the most significant updates from the latest conference call held Monday June 24, featuring updates by Schwab Advisor Services Senior Vice President Neesha Hathi and Vice President Brian Shenson.

Schwab Intelligent Integration

Over 700 advisors are using some kind of solution from Schwab Intelligent Integration, which includes Schwab OpenView Gateway and Schwab Integrated Office. The Schwab OpenView Workflow Library (hey, I don’t choose the names for these solutions!!) is not included in the advisor count (see the next item).

The Schwab OpenView Workflow Library resources have been downloaded over 8,000 times with over 1,000 firms benefiting from the information.

New financial planning software integrations were announced, with Zywave’s NaviPro Planning Suite and PIEtech’s MoneyGuidePro to be added soon to Schwab OpenView Gateway. The integrations will allow financial profile and account information to be delivered from the custodial application to the planning software.

OpenView Gateway will also include the Envestnet|Tamarac Advisor Rebalancing® application. Here, too, advisors will be able to access Schwab’s custody data using the rebalancing application to evaluate and generate trade instructions to streamline portfolio rebalancing.

Move Money Directly from CRM

One of the features hinted by Hathi and Shenson is the ability advisors will soon have to initiate Move Money transactions directly from their CRM of choice.

Move Money requests have historically been restricted to the Schwab Advisor Services online custody platform or by placing a phone call to a service team. According to Shenson, Move Money from CRM will first appear in OpenView Gateway for all Salesforce CRM users, currently estimated to be roughly 200 advisory firms today. Soon after, Move Money will be made available to all Schwab OpenView Gateway CRM partners, which includes Junxure, Salentica, and Envestent|Tamarac.

PortfolioCenter Hosted Update

According to Hathi, roughly 40 advisory firms have contracts in place (which I take to mean not completely rolled out as of today) to use PortfolioCenter Hosted in their business.

Black Diamond Integration

Hathi also updated the Schwab OpenView Gateway integration with Black Diamond software from Advent Software, Inc. Black Diamond is in pilot testing with real time custody data, and is expected to reach general availability by the end of July 2013.

Web Trading

In one of the most eagerly anticipated updates, Hathi updated the status of the new web trading platform in Schwab Advisor Center. The new web trading layout will begin to roll out to select advisors in July 2013, with all of Schwab’s advisors using the new functionality by the end of the year. A preview of the layout is below.

A preview of the anticipated updates to the web trading interface from Schwab Advisor Services

A preview of the anticipated updates to the web trading interface from Schwab Advisor Services

OpenView MarketSquare

OpenView MarketSquare has been available to advisors for several months, and nearly 600 reviews are now available covering roughly 80 products used by advisors.

Mobile Initiatives

In response to a question submitted via Twitter, Hathi addressed coming changes in mobile initiatives from Schwab Advisor Services. Coming soon will be the ability for advisors to use the Schwab Advisor Center mobile app to conduct remote deposit of client checks.

Schwab’s retail customers have enjoyed remote deposit from the retail mobile app for well over a year, so finally this functionality is making its way to advisor devices for those who continue to receive checks from their clients.

Finally, Schwab will add functionality to the retail app to allow clients to authorize a wire transfer request submitted by their advisor.


FPPad Bits and Bytes for May 10

I was in San Diego and Palm Springs over the last week, delivering three different presentations over four days. I’m no Michael Kitces, but I was glad to sleep in my own bed after a week on the road.

Attend The Mobile Adviser Wednesday, May 15th through the AICPA PFP Web Seminar

Attend The Mobile Adviser Wednesday, May 15th through the AICPA PFP Web Seminar

Heads up: I’m presenting a webinar on my session The Mobile Adviser: Everything financial advisers need to stay safe, connected, and productive in the Mobile Age on Wednesday the 15th for the AICPA.

Follow this link to register: AICPA PFP & CPA/PFS Web Seminars


Here are this week’s stories of interest:

Bloomberg’s new venture: Online advice from InvestmentNews.com

[The latest entry into the online investment advice market is BloombergBlack, a premium investment subscription service primarily targeted to high net worth individuals interested in managing their own investments. For a starting fee of $100/month (their Form ADV permits monthly fees up to $500), subscribers gain access to four investment experts and a variety of Bloomberg research and information.] An 800-pound gorilla is wading into the market for online investment management and financial advice. Media giant Bloomberg LP is quietly testing a “premium” wealth management service, BloombergBlack, aimed squarely at mass-affluent investors.

Savant Capital takes advice online from InvestmentNews.com

[Ok, so the roughly $3 billion AUM Savant Capital is launching eSavantAdvisor, a 100% online way to work with a CFP® practitioner employed by Savant. There are three advisors for eSavant, and fees are no lower than the 1% annual fee on the first $1 million in assets charged by the parent company. At least the minimum fee is down to $900 (if you don’t count TD Ameritrade Institutional’s $165/year fee) from Savant’s typical $5,000 annual minimum. So what technology does the eSavantAdvisor client get? Access to their portfolio data via Orion Advisor Services, a login at TD Ameritrade Institutional (doesn’t that duplicate info in Orion?), and web meetings with WebEx to start. There may be other technology available, but the ones listed cover the basics. But here are two things that bother me: First, which three of the dozens of Savant employees are stepping up as eSavantAdvisor planners? It’s not clear. And second, look at the Savant Capital Management website: it could use an overhaul. At least eSavantAdvisor.com features a more modern design, even if it is missing video.] Savant Capital Management is offering technology-savvy investors an online version of the comprehensive investment advice that its advisers offer clients who come into one of its offices.

Schwab Launches OpenView MarketSquare, PortfolioCenter Hosted from Financial-Advisor.com

[It’s official, the long-awaited hosted version of PortfolioCenter is now live, and so is the Zagat-style rating system, MarketSquare. Most controversial is MarketSquare, where online reviews are first screened by Schwab insiders, likely for accuracy and brevity, and not to intentionally skew the bias of reviews. Still, in the day when all of us can get unfiltered reviews of any product sold on Amazon.com, Schwab’s filter-first attribute of MarketSquare does create an odd approach. But on the other hand, there are a few websites out there already that permit unfiltered reviews of financial advisor products, and the value of those are so-so.] Schwab Intelligent Technologies (SPT) announced today that OpenView MarketSquare and PortfolioCenter Hosted have now gone live.

NetDocuments Launches New Apps Marketplace from BusinessWire.com

[Apple’s App Store is approaching 50 billion (yes, BILLION) app downloads, Salesforce’s AppExchange has over 1.7 million installs, and now online document management provider NetDocuments is hopping on the app marketplace bandwagon. The NetDocuments Apps Marketplace is sparsely populated today with just six apps in all, and largely acts as a consolidated list of third party developers that have created their own solutions for specific tasks performed in NetDocuments. Currently, apps can not be sorted by price, so it’s not easy to tell which apps are free to use and which apps require a purchase or subscription. Oh, and they also released version 13.2 with a REST API and improved email search capabilities.] NetDocuments today announced the immediate availability of NetDocuments’ Apps Marketplace, a centralized location for third-party software developers to create apps that integrate with the company’s existing cloud-computing content management and collaboration services. The marketplace showcases apps that users can implement to streamline workflows and improve performance in managing their repository of documents and emails.