Accounts held direct at funds

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Feb 8, 2006 3:01 pm

Has anyone else seriously considered consolidating your client accounts held directly with the fund companies to brokerage?  I'm trying to figure out if its worth the effort to bring it all in-house.  Any advice?  thanks

Feb 8, 2006 3:13 pm

Do they already have brokerge accounts and you want to bring in the mutual funds?  Are the mutual funds in IRAs?


It is nice to have all the client's assets in a consolidated statement with the brokerage account.  Gives you more control and a better handle on how the entire portfolio is doing.  It also makes it a little bit harder for the client to move their account from you to another broker if it is in a brokerage account.


On the other hand, if the client doesn't have a very active account, they may be hit with an inactivity fee from the brokerage that they wouldn't have from the  MF company.  Also if the account is an IRA there are higher custodial fees at the BD than the MF.  Plus a transfer fee if the client wanted to ACAT out.  That fee may make them stay with you if they thought of transfering.


If the client is doing a monthly contribution or makes frequent small contributions, you might want to check and see if you are charged ticket costs for those teeny trades.  If so, you might want to keep the account at the MF company .....no costs to you.  If not, then the Brokerage account will further tie the client to you.  If you aren't independent, this may not be a consideration at all, but for me those ticket costs can add up.


I do these transfers in or leave the funds at the fund company on a case by case basis.

Feb 8, 2006 4:17 pm

If a client only has mutual funds, doing business direct with fund companies is a much less expensive way to do business. 

Feb 8, 2006 11:41 pm

I don't think that the wires look to kindly on direct business because it's harder for them to supervise and control under their business model.  This was particularly my experience at UBS(PaineWebber).


Indy's, from a cultural standpoint, seem much more comfortable with accounts held directly at the mutual fund.  Most likely because this is how most business used to be done with them over the years.  Not saying it's better or worse either way....just an observation.


I have a few IRA's that I have held at the fund company simply because they were started with small contributions by existing clients or referrals from good clients.  Too, of course certain investments such as managed futures, 529's, and annuities are held at the investment provider and maybe reported/linked on the b/d statement.


As a general rule, and mostly for my benefit so that I can run my business more efficiently, I hold assets at the b/d when ever possible. If folks want me to monitor their accounts the info must be readily accessible.  I don't want to go to a dozen websites and make phone calls and page through binders full of statements.  No thanks.

Feb 9, 2006 7:19 am

joedabrkr, Can I assume that you are not with a B/D?  I ask that because if you are with one, you should still be able to see all of a clients holdings in one place even if they are held at the fund company instead of a brokerage account.

Feb 9, 2006 8:10 am

Joe


www.dstvision.com


Try this it consolidates most fund direct, and VA business and you can do everything transactions, PIP's, get statements etc.  Best of all it's FREE

Feb 9, 2006 10:34 am

That is a good one...  Here is another service to get consolidated statements to clients   http://www.albridge.com/     Not free however.


One other point about mutual funds and especially IRAs that are mutual funds held at the broker dealer:  When I left EDJ it would have been much easier to change b/d on the accounts instead of having to do an ACAT proceedure.  Some of the smaller accounts balked at the fees charged by EDJ for closing an IRA. 

Feb 9, 2006 2:13 pm
anonymous:

joedabrkr, Can I assume that you are not with a B/D?  I ask that because if you are with one, you should still be able to see all of a clients holdings in one place even if they are held at the fund company instead of a brokerage account.



I am at a b/d and their technology is quite good.  Yes I can see updated value on their holdings on my b/d's system.  But, I can't see their actual statements or 1099 if the client has questions(without going to a separate website).  Nor can I view activity.


Too, my firms' performance reporting software does not have the ability to work with outside assets.


It also creates more paperwork for myself and clients.


So, I prefer to keep assets in house.

Feb 9, 2006 2:34 pm

ML has tracking/review software that incorporates assets held outside. When reveiwing with a client, it shows how our investments have performed/ allocation strategy, etc and then how their other assets have done. It is a great tool to gather additional assets and consolidate under one roof.


If a client/prospect is concerned about the $120 account fee, we will eat the fee. Who gives a $hit if they are willing to transfer in a couple hundo....


Mar 10, 2006 11:09 pm

If you eat the fee, isn't that illegal?


Ace

Mar 11, 2006 12:27 pm
Ace Planner:

If you eat the fee, isn't that illegal?


Ace



He means the b/d he is working for, not him as an individual

Mar 11, 2006 12:58 pm
joedabrkr:

I don't want to go to a dozen websites and make phone calls and page through binders full of statements.  No thanks.



That's right.  A broker can never do too little when it comes to dealing with those damn clients.

Mar 11, 2006 2:39 pm
Big Easy Flood:
joedabrkr:

I don't want to go to a dozen websites and make phone calls and page through binders full of statements.  No thanks.


That's right.  A broker can never do too little when it comes to dealing with those damn clients.



Aside from what part of the business I may enjoy the most or least-where do you/I add more value-searching around for values and transactions for outside accounts, or interacting with clients?

Mar 11, 2006 3:03 pm
joedabrkr:
Big Easy Flood:
joedabrkr:

I don't want to go to a dozen websites and make phone calls and page through binders full of statements.  No thanks.



That's right.  A broker can never do too little when it comes to dealing with those damn clients.




Aside from what part of the business I may enjoy the most or least-where do you/I add more value-searching around for values and transactions for outside accounts, or interacting with clients?


Is interacting with a client more productive if you have an idea of what the own and what it's worth?  Even if you do have to exert all that effort to thumb through a binder of statements or turn on your computer?