With over 4,700 financial advisors world wide, Raymond James & Associates was bogged down with the mostly manual process of distributing corporate actions information across the firm. In addition, with T+1 approaching and automation becoming a necessity, Raymond James needed to streamline the process and make it more efficient. The firm recently turned to Xcitek and Solutions Plus, which have partnered to deliver Xcitek Solutions Plus or XSP for global corporate actions processing.
Raymond James has signed on to implement the XSP application as well as the browser-based XSP eTran client notification and response capture system. "This will get information regarding any type of corporate action or corporate event out to our financial advisors on an electronic basis as opposed to the manual processes we're currently using," explains Cathy Whittaker, vice president of operations at Raymond James. The XSP solution provides a graphical user interface, client-driven rules-based system for Raymond James to customize accordingly and automated workflow management based on specific corporate actions statuses and parameters. Raymond James has also licensed the Xcitek Cost Basis & Taxability service as well as the Xcitek Corporate Actions Data Feed for the daily delivery of North American corporate action announcement.
Raymond James is in the process of building an interface between its own back-office system and the XSP system in order to incorporate its own proprietary information. "There's an exchange of information between the Xcitek system and ours," says Whittaker. "It (XSP) takes information from our system on stock record positions and takes the financial advisors for those particular accounts for the ownership of any type of corporate event that is occurring. So any type of security that is undergoing any type of re-organization or if a dividend is being paid, the XSP solution compares that information and then will automatically send the information to the financial advisors that have a need to see it."
Although she says the interface requires "fairly extensive programming," Whittaker expects the task to take between 90 and 120 days, with the final implementation of the XSP system set for late July or early August. For the financial advisors, she adds that the XSP solution will become part of their existing desktop system. "It will become just another component for them to use and they will be able to access the information and they will also be able to send their instructions for their client accounts via the XSP system," says Whittaker. In other words, where as currently the advisors must send back information via a separate e-mail or phone call to the firms call center hot line, they can now send back the information automatically.
"XSP gives the advisors all of the details of the corporate action, tells them all of their accounts that are involved and then they can make their determinations as to what they want to do for the clients and send back the information automatically," notes Whittaker. This part of the process is through the XSP eTran (Tracking Response and Notification) component for remote retrieval of the corporate action information and the electronic response. "In the past we were requiring a lot of manual intervention as well as mailings from our corporate vendor ADP," says Whittaker, emphasizing the timeliness that is important these days in the financial arena. "This is going to supplement what we currently do. Everything is going towards electronic notification and this is just one more component in that."