The day when advisers can link multiple custodians and produce one statement for clients is here. Several vendors are targeting independent advisers who use more than one custodian.
Advent Softwares new RexService offers a choice of 13 custodians via on-line transfers (with another 25 custody organizations set to go on-line this year). The service could be an advantage for independent advisers who, for example, trade through Charles Schwab and are limited to Schwabs affiliated custody organizations and a limited number of others who have a custody agreement with Schwab. Also benefiting are those who trade through an independent broker/dealer and want on-line access and more choices.
A Schwab spokesperson says while investment advisers are not mandated to custody their assets at Schwab, going elsewhere is unusual. If you are an administrator on a retirement plan, you can choose to custody at Charles Schwab Trust Co. or self-trustee at another place, he says.
According to Steve Lewczyk, who is in charge of the RexService at San Francisco-based Advent, advisers who use the service get their own server password via an Internet site and pull client account information onto their own computer servers.
Advisers like the idea of having more options. It used to be that as an adviser youd hang your hat in one area, says Tom Lydon, an independent investment adviser at Global Trends Investments in Newport Beach, Calif. He says with some custody organizations increasing prices, services that facilitate record-keeping--whether it is RexService or its competitors like Rydex or Centerpiece--are a valuable option.
Centerpiece is a software package recently acquired by Schwab to compete with outside vendors offering multi-custodial platforms. Rydex is a smaller system used by independent investment advisers for use with outside custodians. It also tracks fund holdings.
Lewczyk says Advents new service is better than waiting for paper and having to use multiple systems to accomplish the same task. This enables the adviser to get all their custodial and brokerage data in a much easier fashion.