BNY Mellon’s Pershing is stepping up its custody game with what effectively amounts to a turnkey back-office and front-office offering for registered investment advisers.
The new Pershing X business unit, headed by wealth management industry veteran Ainslie Simmonds, is the latest extension of the Pershing’s “client experience reimagined” that the custodian announced in April when it reorganized around institutional solutions and wealth solutions.
According to Pershing Chief Executive Jim Crowley, the new unit will incubate, engineer and deliver a comprehensive, all-in-one set of advisory capabilities to Pershing’s Wealth Solutions clients, including broker-dealers, RIAs and trust companies.
“Pershing X will be something we stand up as its own commercial business within the Pershing framework,” he said, adding that the platform “will deliver the industry’s leading end-to-end advisory platform, helping financial services firms solve the challenge of managing multiple and disconnected technology tools and data sets for their advisors and fuelling our clients’ business growth.”
Crowley was vague on the cost to RIAs because he said it depends on how they access the platform, which can range from using parts, such as client relationship management, investment management and model portfolios, or the entire bundle, which will continue to evolve.
“There will be different economic models for different levels of service, and the cost will be variable based upon the services they choose to use,” he said. “This is something we’re excited to launch, but it will be a multiyear program.”
Crowley said that as the platform is built out, “every three to four months there will be a new announcement about what Pershing X is adding to the stack.”
Two additions on track for early next year are multicustodial capability to help RIAs manage working with several different custodians and access to model portfolios, he said.
Pershing X, which was built on top of the managed account platform, is being marketed as a means of enabling advisers to essentially outsource more of the practice management and spend more time on things like business growth and client relations, Crowley said.
Access to the platform will be made available for both current RIAs custodying with Pershing and non-custodial clients.
“It’s a way for them to solve the problem of going out and having to find all these tools, because it allows us to do the heavy lifting at scale and bring it together in a way that will be effortless for them,” Crowley said. “It also will allow the advisers to spend their time growing inorganically, and to deploy capital and energy and intellectual capabilities toward growing their business.”
As president of Pershing X, Simmonds will join Pershing’s executive committee. She brings two decades of experience in wealth management and digital to her new role, and was instrumental in launching several fintech firms, including financial planning company LearnVest Inc. and brokerage and trading software firm TD Ameritrade Inc.’s thinkorswim.
Most recently, Simmonds was executive vice president at Pimco Investments where she was global head of digital. Prior to Pimco, she was executive officer and head of digital products and design at Northwestern Mutual Co.
“I’m delighted to be joining BNY Mellon to lead Pershing X. Even with the explosion of fintech solutions in the past 10 years, advisers still have to piece together a platform to serve their clients,” Simmonds said in a prepared statement.
“I am so looking forward to delivering a comprehensive platform, backed by the expertise and experience of Pershing, that will enable advisers to focus on what they do best — deliver real value to the millions of investors that turn to them for financial advice and peace of mind,” she added.
Pershing is among the three largest RIA custodians, along with Charles Schwab Corp. and Fidelity Investments Co.
Pershing has $2.7 trillion in total custody through 1,300 RIA firms, serving more than seven million individual accounts.
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