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WealthStack Roundup: Pershing Updates NetX360, Edelman Financial Engines on Retirement Income and More

A milestone for Pershing at INSITE, Financial Engines rolls out quasi-tech decumulation tool, and Percent to make CDSs safer for accredited investors.

Rollout of NetX360+

I wrote about the original launch of Pershing’s NetX360 platform back in 2009 and then followed it through many years of change, both major and incremental. At the time of that announcement, the firm had just spent two years on consolidating existing systems into a single technology. Some 500 of the firm’s 2,000 technology associates had been focused “exclusively on this re-engineering project.”

Fast-forward to this week and we find the clearing and custody giant holding its annual INSITE conference in Texas.

On Wednesday, they announced the availability of NetX360+. The platform has been redesigned for advisors with a streamlined user interface that provides a more intuitive experience, according to the firm.

In addition, the new platform is purported to feature hyper-personalization for clients, machine learning-driven search results for data, new data insights on client behavior, and integrated learning resources for advisors and staff.

It will be interesting to find out more on the technology behind both the hyper-personalization and machine learning and whether it was built in house or is being provided by partner firms. This was not elaborated on in the announcement.

I would love to hear from advisors who custody client assets with Pershing (but please get in touch with any suggestions as to future technology coverage you would like to see as well). Email me at [email protected].

IBR rollout

Edelman Financial Engines announced Thursday the launch of Income Beyond Retirement, a mix of a service and technology meant to help 401(k) plan participants that are approaching or in retirement figure out their income situation.

Specifically, “IBR combines portfolio management and technology-enabled analysis with financial advisor support to create highly personalized, flexible retirement income plans and investing strategies to match the individual needs of employees,” according to the announcement.

Among the big-name firms whose employees have access to it are Boeing, Lenovo, Equifax, Milliken and Prime Therapeutics.

While it sounds as much like an engagement tool for human advisors at this point, I’m a fan of anything that begins to address the looming decumulation/retirement income headache that is to be faced by both clients and accumulation-focused advisors alike.

I’ve regularly reported on research and more robust technology offerings to address this between stories on IncomeConductor and IncomeDiscovery, a few stories on Merrill Lynch and its efforts at combining portfolio management and financial planning, and interviews with Joseph F. Coughlin, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab and others about “longevity planning.”

As William Meyer, founder of Retiree Inc. the purveyor of Income Solver, said at the recent T3 conference: “We as an industry are really great at going up the mountain on accumulation, but this is a different set of math, and clients are confused and find this super complicated, as do many practitioners.”

Credit Default Swap Protection on Private Credit Investment Offerings

This one had me shaking my head, more from overall bad memories of the 2008 financial crisis than anything, because this technology offering from a startup would seek to protect accredited investors from some of the risk pitfalls associated with credit default swaps.

The news is that Percent, a startup launched in 2018, created a new risk mitigation tool.

It is meant to offer accredited investors credit default swap protection on private credit investment offerings; in other words, an added level of protection in the case of a default or some related event.

Percent partnered with Anzen Finance, another startup that has worked on creating a protocol for private credit protection.

In a nutshell, with the purchase of Percent’s Blended Notes vehicle (a single investment basket providing exposure to multiple products across the private credit markets) a portion of interest paid or principal amortization on the underlying securities of each Blended Note will be pooled to create a reserve fund with the remainder of the fund being generated through DeFi yield farming. More details can be found in Percent's announcement.

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