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Fidelity Revamps Web B/D System

PALM BEACH, Fla. - Fidelity has revamped Streetscape, its Web broker/dealer technology, to make it easier to serve high-net-worth clients.

Fidelity made the announcement earlier this month, at its fifth annual Executive Forum here. Broker/dealers will be able to use the new Streetscape to process restricted stock transactions and improve risk management, Fidelity said. The system will continue to provide market data, third-party news and research.

"Broker/dealers are looking for additional ways to differentiate themselves and enhance the value they bring to clients," said Norman R. Malo, president of National Financial, Fidelity's brokerage clearing service unit. "With more broker/dealers focused on serving the high-net-worth marketplace, this enhancement to Streetscape can help their investment representatives."

It is undeniable that mutual funds, broker/dealers and other financial institutions are adding managed accounts to their menu of products to maintain relationships with wealthy customers (see related story, page 18).

"High-net-worth investors want alternative investment products," said T. Neil Bathon, founder of Financial Research Corp. Seventy-seven percent of all investment representatives offered managed accounts last year, up from 38% in 2001.

While the average managed account has $323,711 in assets, fund companies and other asset managers have offered points of entry as low as $25,000, but that has been bouncing back up as financial institutions realize how labor-intensive these products can be (see related story, page 20).

"Mutual funds are under pressure," Bathon said. "They aren't going to go under in the foreseeable future, but these managed accounts are popular, and they are expanding."

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