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Pershing X Recycles BNY Mellon Execs, Narrows Tech Launch Date

The multicustodial oversight tool is intended to provide easier analysis of outside assets, as Pershing X seeks to bridge BNY Mellon's silos.

Pershing narrowed its planned launch date for its multicustodial oversight tool, called Managed Accounts Central, to June, according to Ainslie Simmonds, president of Pershing X. The tool, which is intended for both Pershing and non-Pershing clients, was originally scheduled to be launched by the end of 2021 and later moved back to the first half of 2022. The updated timeline comes as Simmonds puts the finishing touches on her new executive team, half of which are already employees of parent firm BNY Mellon. 

Advisors have been looking forward to Managed Accounts Central since it was first announced last June at Pershing's INSITE conference. Pershing lacks an easy-to-use tool for making outside assets visible in NetX360, Pershing’s advisor dashboard, said Ken Alexa, a vice president and advisor at North South Capital, based in New Lenox, Ill. The firm manages $38 million in client assets, according to regulatory filings.

Presently, in situations where clients are holding assets in solo 401(k)s with non-Pershing custodians or have purchased annuities, for example, advisors must log in to multiple accounts to get an overall perspective on an individual’s financial picture, Alexa said.

“If you were able to put all the outside business into the NetX360 system, that would make it very easy to help analyze the accounts,” he explained. Managed Accounts Central’s proposed functionality “would be extremely useful.”

“It will be a nice perk. It will be a nice add-on when it gets here," Alexa added.

While advisors await the new tool, Simmonds has selected Pershing X's new executive team, with half of the eight leaders pulled from BNY Mellon. The firm declined to provide the planned total employee head count of Pershing X.

Simmonds named three individuals from BNY Mellon to executive positions. They are Robert Cirrotti, head of data and insights; Dan Adler, chief technology officer and head of engineering; and Sarah Chain, head of digital product and product management. Cam Sheehan, the new head of sales enablement, joins from Addepar. The remainder of the executives will be named at a later date, with one coming from BNY Mellon and three from outside firms. The entire executive team will be up and running no later than April 4.

A former LearnVest and Northwestern Mutual executive, Simmonds joined Pershing’s new business unit in October, after leading digitization efforts at PIMCO Investments.

In her leadership role at Pershing X, Simmonds has been tasked with developing “consumer grade digital experiences” and improving the connections between individual tools in advisors’ tech stacks. She’s also in charge of connecting the BNY Mellon product universe with Pershing’s financial advisors.

As part of the restructuring Cirrotti will now lead the Albridge unit, with its data and reporting capabilities, and report directly to Simmonds. There will be no change in development priorities or personnel within that unit following the restructuring, according to Simmonds, who declined to provide an employee head count for the division.

One of the first changes Simmonds implemented is a project management style called “agile.” Popular with software development firms, agile project management focuses on continuous feature launches and incorporates customer feedback at every development benchmark.

Simmonds is also exploring “crypto and alternatives” for inclusion in clients’ portfolios, she said. “The team’s vision is to be the trusted place to build comprehensive portfolios.”

Pershing X is intended to be “one of the top investment programs across the BNY Mellon franchise for the next several years,” said Pershing CEO Jim Crowley last fall. The business division—even with nearly half of the executives coming from BNY Mellon—promises to “[bring] in people who've got a different sort of experience in the technology landscape,” according to Crowley.

The "exec team will be a mix of both external [and] internal hires, which is in line with what Jim [Crowley] shared last year," said Simmonds. "This balanced exec team will create a mix of fresh perspective at Pershing X."

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