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Investment Management Newsflashes: TD Ameritrade Eliminates All Account Maintenance Fees, and more

TD Ameritrade Eliminates Maintenance Fees Across All Accounts, Kensington Signs on for Advent Portfolio Exchange, FinLab Releases Budget Product Suite

TD Ameritrade Nixes Maintenance Fees

TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. today announced that it will eliminate account maintenance fees for all retail clients beginning April 21, 2006. These changes apply to each of the company's retail client accounts, numbering more than six million, regardless of an account's size or a client's trading activity.

"TD Ameritrade is focused on furthering the goals of our independently-minded clients, realizing that their needs fluctuate due to life changes, market swings or even their confidence in any given investment," said Joe Moglia, chief executive officer, in a release. "We want our clients to manage their accounts and investments their way, and removing this barrier gives them one less thing to worry about."

In addition to the elimination of account maintenance fees, legacy TD Waterhouse clients will have, for the first time, access to client support 24-hours a day, seven-days a week, excluding market holidays.

Kensington Moves to Advent Portfolio Exchange

Kensington Investment Group, a mutual fund management firm focused on real estate securities with approximately $1.5 billion in assets, has migrated to Advent Portfolio Exchange (APX) from Advent Software to achieve efficiency gains, grow its business and manage the firm's specialized reporting needs.

"We've had tremendous success with Advent, and our transition to Advent Portfolio Exchange provides us with increased flexibility in how we analyze our portfolios, which we expect will translate to better investment decisions," said Paul Gray, portfolio manager for Kensington Investment Group, in a release. "Converting to a new portfolio management system can be a massive undertaking, but our transition with Advent was seamless, and with APX we'll be able to scale with our growing business."

APX aims to solve many of the challenges investment firms face by fully integrating portfolio management with the front-office functions of marketing and CRM, as well as the back-office operations of accounting and reporting. Built on a single SQL relational database, APX delivers critical client and portfolio data through a Web-based user interface.

The greater scalability of APX has also opened the door to new possibilities. "Advent Portfolio Exchange has a solid back in terms of reliability and data integrity. With that in mind, we decided to overcome the general hesitancy and risk avoidance that a company often feels regarding technical issues with implementing something new," said Kensington IT director Greg Sneddon, in the release. "Our decision to go ahead has put us in a better position now."

FinLab Releases New PackHedge, Establishes New Competitive Price Point

FinLab SA, released a new version of its PackHedge product suite, a set of software tools for multi-source, multi-currency, multi-frequency qualitative and quantitative data management models. In doing so, the company is touting its price competitiveness by introducing this version at an entry-level point below $3,000.

The entry-level product, PackHedge Standard provides the essential set of functionality that is demanded by asset allocation decision makers. PackHedge features include a full set of financial instruments, data import tools and a customizable due diligence questionnaire to automatically import over 1,300 fields of fund data.

"Our objective with this latest release was to restructure the composition of PackHedge to allow customers greater flexibility to select the functions and modules that they specifically need for their individual users. We are delighted that this new flexible structure has enabled us to offer PackHedge Standard at only $2,900, the lowest price in the market," said Denis de Pentheny O'Kelly CEO of Finlab SA, in a release. "By positioning the entry level of PackHedge below the $3,000 price mark, we are now able to make sophisticated research and analysis tools affordable to a much broader audience".

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