Pro Icon Delivers Enhanced Investment Management

27 January 2011

James Brearley & Sons, one of the largest, independently owned stockbroking firms in the North of England with c. £750m under custody, has released function-rich, Pro Icon, an advanced online valuation and dealing service to support intermediary businesses. Developed by MBA Systems for James Brearley and Sons, Pro Icon provides intermediaries, including solicitors, accountants and independent financial advisers, with bespoke and personalised investment management facilities. Essentially these assist an intermediary to manage its clients’ portfolios across a range of different account types using a wealth of advanced technological facilities, potentially branded with the intermediary’s own corporate identity.

“The rich functionality of Pro Icon, combined with our firm’s wealth of experience in custodianship and in executing a wide range of investment instruments, provides our intermediary clients with a strong and flexible service,” says David Hannis, director of James Brearley. “This could simply be in the area of providing their clients with an online valuation service, linked to up-to-date news on listed securities or relative performance and portfolio content, in the case of collective investment scheme holdings. Our clients also fully appreciate the user friendliness of the dealing related tools and functionality, which are based on the same system utilised within our portfolio management service.

“Our intermediary clients in turn can provide a more tailored and branded service to their own clients. This includes the ability to create their own wrap structure, centred on the evolving range of sub-custodian arrangements we have with a large number of SIPP, SSAS administrators and offshore insurance companies. This is complemented by our role of ISA manager and provider of a general nominee account.”

Pro Icon allows intermediaries to execute client instructions efficiently; the system’s Multi-Order Suite provides the ability to place a similar trade across a wide range of clients or a number of trades for the same client. Further efficiencies may be achieved through its Order Import facility, which enables an intermediary to upload instructions saved within an Excel spreadsheet for execution. This recently allowed a client to place in excess of 1,800 individual trades within less than 30 minutes. Because this facility removes the need to re-key data, it also removes associated operational risk.

Further trading risk is removed through the system’s Promoter Status facility which is very popular with clients. This gives different permission levels for access within a firm, such that a user with ‘promoter status’ may only create a trade, or submit those trades created by a colleague. As a result, every trade is double checked.

Pro Icon enriches the information that an intermediary provides to its clients. It is now possible to view a portfolio valuation that incorporates primary and secondary sector weightings. Valuations may also be grouped as such, allowing the intermediary and their clients to view various arrangements, be it a general nominee, ISA, SIPP and/or offshore bond as a single entity.

Through James Brearley’s tie up with Funds Library, Pro Icon users now have access to extensive fund research and Fund Library’s widely used Portfolio X-Ray Tool. The Portfolio X-ray tool allows the user to view the geographical, sector, stock and asset mix of a portfolio of collective investment schemes and equities. The fund research tools allow users to easily view the content of a particular fund and its performance relative to its peer group. This service also allows users to obtain a variety of fund documentation, be it a recent investor fact sheet or the latest fund report, accounts or key features document.

“We continue to work closely with MBA Systems to create a product that will give us and our intermediary clients a competitive edge,” says Hannis. “It also gives us the power and technology that we need to grow client and transaction volumes efficiently, while maintaining a high level of service and support.”

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