TITLE

Software Distribution: The Channels Are Changing

AUTHOR(S)
McCarthy, Ed
PUB. DATE
August 2002
SOURCE
Journal of Financial Planning;Aug2002, Vol. 15 Issue 8, p50
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article discusses changes in the distribution channels for financial advisors' software. First, a number of vendors have been adopting a Web-based or application service provider (ASP) distribution model. There also has been a blurring of the line between service and software providers with leading custodians starting to act as software distributors. From a business perspective, software vendors' decision to focus on financial service institutions (FSI) and broker/dealers (B/D) makes perfect sense. Advisors who have been in the business for more than a few yeas have survived challenges from new technologies in the past and they are skeptical that technology alone will hurt their business. Other advisors believe that even if the larger FSIs and B/Ds gain a head start with a particular technology, software entrepreneurs will still be willing to develop a competitive product for the RIA market. Individual advisory firms might lack the market clout needed to attract software developers, but custodian firms serving these firms can offer the volume the vendors need. The distribution channels for advisors' software continue to evolve. Developers' desire for marketing scales of economy, the Web, and custodians' desires to move beyond providing transactions and portfolio record keeping are all influencing how advisors obtain the software they need to run their practices. Although there will always be a role for the enterprising developers who decide to sell directly advisors, direct sales might soon become the exception instead of the rule.
ACCESSION #
7180468

 

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