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Cetera’s Wealth Management Platform Looking More Like an RIA’s

Independent broker/dealer network Cetera Financial has upgraded its performance reporting and business analytics systems through a partnership with Envestnet. While the firm’s old system was mostly paper-based, the new system is digital and more interactive, said Steve Dunlap, executive vice president, wealth management at Cetera. The upgrade is part of the firm’s strategy to appeal to fee-based advisors.

“Anytime you’re operating in the advisory space, regular performance reporting is key to that whole experience,” Dunlap said.

RIAs and fee-based advisors tend to take a more holistic approach to giving financial advice—looking at a client’s entire financial picture, Dunlap said. Performance reporting helps with that.

“The job of an advisor is not to focus people on pure investment performance only, but investment performance against their goals and against building a well-diversified portfolio that has exposure to multiple asset classes that will perform reasonably well in multiple environments,” Dunlap said.

With the Envestnet system, clients will have an interactive view of their accounts and can drill down into the performance of individual managers, sectors and holdings. Clients can also see how their entire portfolio is doing at a granular level. The business analytics capability allows advisors to see their entire book of business and drill down into specific areas across their client accounts.

Cetera upgraded the firm’s investment proposal system a couple years ago—a key area where advisors interact with their customers and have influence on the investor’s life, Dunlap said. Performance reporting, another key area, was due for an upgrade. 

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