Fidelity Launches Online Referral Tool

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Fidelity Investments has launched a new Web-based research tool designed to help independent advisors find new prospective clients and networking opportunities.

The Referral-Edge platform aggregates information from more than 3,000 sources, including press releases, public filings and Web sites into a single searchable database which is updated daily, according to Fidelity. The  platform gives advisors access to about 2.5 million high-net-worth individuals, 1.5 million retirement plans and nearly 150,000 foundations and endowments and is free to Fidelity's advisor clients.

"Referrals are often an untapped opportunity for advisors looking to grow their practices," said David E. Canter, executive vice president and head of Practice Management and Consulting at Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services. "Taking a proactive, hands-on approach to networking and prospecting can help advisors stand out from other firms in an increasingly competitive RIA marketplace."

While referrals account for 51% of an advisors new business, only 20% of advisors ask their clients for them, according to Fidelity. The new platform allows Fidelity's advisor clients to search its database for detailed profiles of existing clients, professional connections or prospects using a myriad of search topics, including location, level of wealth, industry, job title or associations.

"For example, you can set a search for CEOs in New York City with a net worth of $10 million plus," Fidelity spokesman John Eidson said. "This tool helps them identify highly valuable potential clients and really use that to build their book of business."

The tool can also identify additional details about an advisor's current clients, like a board or association membership, which could uncover possible networking opportunities with other members, according to Fidelity.

There is a vast amount of information available on the public domain, but searching through it all for potential clients is a time-consuming task, according to Eidson. "All of this is aggregated into the database, so it's a tremendous time saver," he said.

Fidelity said the program adds more than 12,000 executives, reports about 30,000 wealth creating events including new job appointments and promotions, mergers and acquisitions and trading activity, and more than 2,000 foundation and endowment updates monthly.


Financial Advisor magazine reaches 90,000 financial planners and investment advisors through its print publication and its Web site . It also publishes FA green , for advisors interested in socially responsible investing, and Private Wealth , for advisors targeting the ultra high-net-worth market.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 Charter Financial Publishing Network Inc. All Rights Reserved.


This article appears in: Financial Advisor Center , Business

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