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Bullrun's Adviser Tool Targets Client Relationships

Turning the spotlight on equities, Bullrun Financial, Inc. (booth #1740) is launching a portfolio-management tool today that aims to help financial advisers strengthen the client relationship with retail investors.

Turning the spotlight on equities, Bullrun Financial, Inc. (booth #1740) is launching a portfolio-management tool today that aims to help financial advisers strengthen the client relationship with retail investors."We make the adviser sound smarter," says John Michel, chief executive officer.

The product - dubbed Bullrun Edge - focuses on stock analytics and real-time portfolio monitoring against leading benchmarks such as the Russell 2000, the S&P and MSCI.

Using the modular, Web-based interface, the adviser pulls down different tabs to filter the stock portfolio based on a host of fundamental factors. For instance, he or she could pick dividend yield to analyze the implications of the new tax law.

The adviser can also filter a list of fundamental data by performance and price and look at specific sectors by return or region. "We allow the advisers to answer the questions that the clients ask - 'How am I doing?' - and then deliver advisory services that are based on professional portfolio-management techniques so the adviser sounds more professional," says Michel. "The adviser can call the client, and not have looked at the relationship in some period of time and immediately call up the accounts and describe what's going on across all the accounts or one account, against what's going on in the market and do it very intellectually."

It can also serve "as an idea-generation tool that the adviser can turn into sales, or reposition the portfolio if he's charging an asset-management fee," adds Michel.

Sang Lee, manager of the Securities and Investments group at Celent Communications, says, "The key to wealth management is to transform that stock jockey into an adviser. Tools like (the ones) Bullrun Financial are trying to offer will go a long way toward doing that. A lot of these brokers are looking for conversation starters to reach out to their customers and certainly providing information like that helps." Michel claims that performance attribution is among the tool's strongest features.

By clicking on the calendar tab, an adviser can type in any date and look at the returns of an account, perhaps since the last statement. The program calculates the returns for particular sectors such as healthcare, financials, energy or consumer staples. By clicking on holdings, the advisers can see which stocks are making money and compare that to the benchmark.

Shaw Lively, research manager of Wealth Management at Financial Insights, says Bull Edge gives advisers "100 things to talk to a client about. They've actually begun to take what would be considered a portfolio-management tool for advisers and equip that to be a customer-relationship-development tool," he adds.

One key feature Michel touts is the ability to create customized views of households or client accounts in different groups. Shaw says the tool has the ability to arrange the information in a way the adviser wants to see it, so that the adviser can adapt the system and not have to learn a new system.

Michel contends that back-end-accounting systems will not allow advisers to look at their accounts with different views. "We allow the adviser to create and look at different views of the assets he's managing," he adds.

For example, an adviser who's managing a small-cap-growth strategy for six different accounts could group all the accounts together to compare whether or not the strategy is working for each. Or someone, for example, who is managing money for a wealthy family could look at the entire Dupont family together or break the family up into segments. "We give the adviser the flexibility to look at this relationships in the way he wants to look at them and in multiple views," says Michel. Ivy is Editor-at-Large for Advanced Trading and Wall Street & Technology. Ivy is responsible for writing in-depth feature articles, daily blogs and news articles with a focus on automated trading in the capital markets. As an industry expert, Ivy has reported on a myriad ... View Full Bio

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