Independent channels are gobbling up new mutual fund and ETF assets faster than the wirehouses, says a report from Broadridge Financial Solutions. Through the first three quarters of 2016, registered investment advisors have seen a net increase of $96 billion in new mutual fund and ETF assets, while independent broker dealers have netted $73 billion. The wirehouse channel, meanwhile, saw an increase of $9 billion in these categories. Overall, new assets are heading to passively managed products across all retail channels–RIAs, IBDs, wirehouses and discount brokerages–says the report. "The combination of looming regulatory changes, such as the DOL Rule, as well as investor preferences for fee based advice has benefited independent advisory firms and the custodians that cater to them," said Frank Polefrone, senior vice president of Broadridge's data and analytics business. "As a result of these market forces, the importance of independent fee distribution channels to drive mutual fund and ETF asset growth is more important than ever."
Cetera's New DOL Compliance Tool
Cetera Financial Group is putting out its own technology tool to help advisors comply with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule. Called iAnalyze, the tool provides Cetera advisors with a dashboard to bring together account information, asset levels and practice management analytics. In a statement, Cetera said iAnalyze is part of its DOL DynamIQs platform and will help advisors gauge the adjustments they need to bring client accounts into compliance. The company also plans to add a planning component to provide advisors with direction on Cetera’s own compliance policies.
Orion Launches Educational Program
Orion Advisor Services is launching an interactive training course to help advisors become better users of its portfolio accounting service and the myriad third-party technologies it integrates with. The program, called Ascent, contains video tutorials, interactive quizzes and staff training materials developed by a team of professional educators and technology training experts. The program begins with a questionnaire to determine the advisor’s skill level and customize the training course to reflect their unique needs and business model. Ascent contains eight learning trails: data reconciliation, news accounts, reporting, billing, market data, trading and integrations. Since Orion launched a beta test of Ascent in August, 1,400 advisors have passed 3,077 different courses, representing a total of 1,200 hours of online training.