Salomon Smith Barney on Monday launched two new services for clients with online access--its own account aggregation service (separate from parent Citigroup's “myciti.com") and wireless access. The firm is also preparing to improve its Web-based "Find a Financial Consultant" search engine, according to Steve Clifford, SSB's director of interactive marketing and services.
The SSB account aggregation service enables clients to aggregate a variety of password-protected online accounts in finance, communications and travel.
The first version of “Find a Financial Consultant,” SSB’s broker/prospect matchmaking service (launched in October), allowed prospective clients to search for a broker within their geographic locations by typing in a ZIP code or a city and state. The search returned three names, picked at random by the computer. The next version is scheduled to be announced to the sales force on March 9, says Clifford.
Merrill Lynch, meanwhile, formally launched its aggregation service -- "My Financial Picture" -- on Feb. 20. The service had been in "soft launch" mode since mid-January.
Everett Berger, Merrill's director and vice president in digital business development, refused to give out the number of Merrill clients who've enrolled to date, but he says that even in its soft launch phase, enrollments were "five to six times more than we expected."
One upcoming development likely to come at Merrill, and possibly other firms, is for clients to let their brokers see aggregated account information.
See the upcoming April 2001 issue of RR magazine for more on these developments.
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