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June 1, 2012

CQ&D: Increasing Mobile Capabilities

A Q & A With Sanjiv Mirchandani

By Gregory Bresiger

Also in this article

For National Financial's Sanjiv Mirchandani it was trial by fire.

In March 2009, Mirchandani, a longtime Fidelity Investments vet, was named president of the clearing arm. However, correspondents were worried the recent market meltdown could put their assets in harm's way. Mirchandani spent a good part of his initial months reassuring clients that assets were intact and the firm was strong.  {IMGCAP(1)]

Three years after taking over National Financial, clients still want reassurance. That is one of the themes of a recent Q&A he participated in with CQ&D.

Sanjiv Mirchandani

Mirchandani, in evaluating what correspondents want, believes that battle-scarred clients still want something very basic: They want to know their clearing broker is not going to fail. They want more information accessibility on assets.

 

CQ&D: Any new products and services on the horizon? I understand you're working on providing correspondents with more access to your trust services?

Mr. Mirchandani: We're providing trust capabilities for the first time this year to correspondent advisers. Formal rollout will be this summer.

 

CQ&D: How does this help the correspondent?

Mr. Mirchandani: We've previously offered that through some of our other (Fidelity) businesses, but now we're offering it to our correspondents, which creates the ability to take on the personal trust assets of their clients, whether they are being managed by a trust department or being managed directly by the clients. We are now allowing them to manage these assets on the National Financial platform.

 

CQ&D: And this provides the correspondent with accounting capabilities?

Mr. Mirchandani: Our platform has been expanded to do the principal and interest reporting that's required for trust services. So by doing it on the National Financial platform in a brokerage context, you can get the principal and accounting services and you can also get a broader range of investment products; it is a much more efficient way to do business for the wealth adviser.

 

CQ&D: You mentioned the mobile products correspondents now have. Your clients and their clients now want greater control and more assurance about their accounts?

Mr. Mirchandani: Advisers are facing pressures from the investors who, you know, in a post-crisis, post-Madoff world, want to visit their money more. So the end consumer wants access to their accounts. They don't only want to go through the adviser.

 

CQ&D: What other products and services are correspondents looking for?

Mr. Mirchandani: They're looking primarily for a great technology platform that allows them to be as productive as possible and drive the relationships with their clients. That's their overall need.

 

CQ&D: What are they looking for in investment products?