Fidelity is launching its open architecture digital store, Wealthscape Integration Xchange, the company announced today. Although the company noted it has long had integrations with third-party tools, the opening of the digital storefront emphasized the firm's renewed commitment to working and integrating with outside tools.
Fidelity’s move comes as competitor Charles Schwab has also promised advisors more integrations, with the firm’s head of advisory technology, Andrew Salesky, setting a goal of doubling integrations by the end of 2019. TD Ameritrade unveiled its integration hub, Veo One almost 4 years ago.
Fidelity contends that the move is more about putting all of its third-party tools in a visible and easy-to-find location, rather than marking a starting point towards more integrations. “By putting the building blocks all in one place, we’re simplifying the user experience and helping clients efficiently create the right technology offerings for their businesses,” said Tricia Haskins, vice president for Fidelity Institutional’s digital strategy and platform consulting division. “Integration is not ‘one size fits all,’ and firms can mix and match solutions to build a unique platform that helps them deliver greater value, differentiate themselves and seek to meet the high expectations of today’s advisors and end-investors.”
Xchange will also support enhancements to a firm’s existing systems, according to Fidelity. For example, advisors can embed brokerage data for “near real-time data retrieval and processing” via APIs that the firm is making available. Firms will also be able to send and receive client-specific data and transactions in bulk between Fidelity’s brokerage system and the firm’s own systems.
For firms without dedicated technology staff, Fidelity is on standby for consultation about the proper technology strategies and solutions, added Haskins. For advisors who might be overwhelmed by a menu of technology options, the firm is moving towards “prescriptive [technology] bundles based on best practices,” she noted, acknowledging that Xchange needs to balance giving advisors choices for their technology needs and providing context and support.