News, Vision & Voice for the Advisory Community


Pete Hess will shop for software firms to build in-house Black Diamond bundle

The Advent CEO says his firm, under SS&C ownership, will consider buying CRM, financial planning and rebalancing firms

Author Guest Columnist Timothy Welsh June 18, 2015 at 2:45 PM
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Pete Hess: This business is addictive.

Stephen Winks

Stephen Winks

June 19, 2015 — 3:20 PM

The technology is great but the elephant in the room is the absence of institutional users that put technological advances in the context of expert authenticated prudent process which simplifies expert advisory services in the best interests of the investing public. The missing link is an institutional user that actually assumes fiduciary responsibility and liability in its advisory services support.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of the largest financial services firm in the US counsels the industry, that it has to become politically expedient to ask and resolve advisory services questions in the best interest of the investing public. John Theil of Merrill agrees. A Supreme Court Ruling and a Presidential Executive Order support brokers being held to the traditional understanding of fiduciary duty yet the Brokerage Lobby denies the “retail Investor” (who need the most help) the same consumer protections accorded to all other investors. So, whose job is it to support the fiduciary duties of the broker? Broker/dealers reframe from fiduciary duty and technologist can only play a narrow role to the extent of their technical expertise allows.

This is the question of our time. Will the industry start asking and resolving advisory services questions in the best interest of the investing public or will a higher level of responsibility and ongoing responsibility for recommendations be achieved through technology independent of a brokerage model, that frustrates innovation in the consumer’s best interest?

Is the brokerage industry so myopic (self serving) to understand the best interest of the investing public always prevails in a free market. Even if the brokerage lobby controls Congress at the expense of the investing public, is it a wise choice? Technology has a major role to play in advancing the consumer’s best interest and the health of the financial services industry.

Stephen Winks

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Mentioned in this article:

SS&C Technologies
Top Executive: Bill Stone

Betterment, LLC
Financial Planning Software
Top Executive: Jon Stein

Envestnet | Tamarac
Portfolio Management System, CRM Software, Trading/Rebalancing
Top Executive: Stuart DePina

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