July 14, 2009

In a move to gain market share, Fidelity Investment's National Financial has integrated the Thomson One wealth management capabilities into its Streetscape brokerage workstation, the clearing firm announced yesterday.

National Financial is offering the integrated, super-charged workstation at a time when broker dealers are cutting back on their applications and need the wealth management functionality to attract advisers who are leading the largest brokerage houses.

"We found that a lot of the rep force has been displaced out of the wire house environment and their practices with a significant amount of high-net worth clients are spread across banks, independents and insurance company owned broker dealers," said Mark Healy, EVP of National Financial in an interview with Wall Street & Technology. Firms want the "look and feel" of National Financial's Streetscape to retain and attract top producers; they also need the wealth management functionality to serve the more sophisticated high-net-worth market. Fidelity sees this trend continuing over the next 12-to-24 months, according to Healy.

National Financial services over 300 broker dealer firms on the Streetscape platform, with a total of 85,000 reps, but the Fidelity company is gearing up to expand its business. The combined offering will be made available to all existing brokers and rep forces as well as on a redistributed basis through other clearing firms. Going forward, National Financial is entering the self-clearing market, which is about three times the size of the market it currently serves, notes Healy.

Since National Financial works closely with the CEOs and COOs at those 300-plus firms, they asked the clearing firm to find some best-of-breed tools, such as wealth management, financial planning, performance reporting, portfolio analytics and customized client reporting, that we could integrate into a more holistic offering, explained Healy. A pilot began in the fourth quarter of 2008 and is wrapping up now.

In teaming up with Thomson Reuters, Streetscape has combined its strength in execution and services functionality —including trading, risk management, compliance and operations— with the wealth and book management tools, investment planning resources and real-time market data and research of Thomson One. Advisers can use the new book-of-business management tools to look across all of their accounts and relationships, pinpointing opportunities and minimizing risks, said Healy. There's also adhoc data and reporting tools, asset allocation, financial reporting and portfolio management. Financial planning tools not only help advisers to maintain existing relationships, but they can be used to gain new clients, said Healy.