(October 19, 2005) â CheckFree Corporation (Nasdaq: CKFR) today announced that its client base of professional money managers and broker dealers is now managing in excess of two million individual investment portfolios using the CheckFree APLSM platform. The 2 Million mark represents the rapid growth in Separate Accounts which provide advantages to investors, asset managers and broker dealers over other investment products. Separate accounts are attractive to investors because they offer a customized investment approach to meet an individual investorâs financial objectives, while taking into consideration tax efficiency. Managed accounts have grown at nearly 17 percent per year according to Cerulli Associates largely because there is a common objective to grow the value of the investorâs account. Broker dealers and investment managers also benefit from a recurring asset-based fee structure.
CheckFree APL serves as the leading portfolio management platform, providing remote processing services to sponsor firms, money managers and financial advisors for the automation of investment management, trading, portfolio performance and investor reporting. CheckFreeâs open platform enables approximately 90 Wall Street (sponsor) firms and 135 separate account manager firms to interface with each other and operate in a straight through processing environment.
Much of the recent momentum in the managed accounts industry has been fueled by newer Rep as Portfolio Manager and Mutual Fund Advisory product offerings, which are the fastest growing segments according to Cerulli. Rep as a Portfolio Manager provides the financial representative with discretion over the investorâs account to make investment decisions and Mutual Fund Advisory delivers asset allocation through mutual funds. The Mutual Fund Advisory product is designed to allocate investorsâ assets across a wide range of mutual funds. These services include client profiling, account monitoring and portfolio rebalancing, and an asset-based fee is charged instead of a commission. The Rep as a Portfolio Manager program works with a financial representative acting as money manager for clients by taking full responsibility for selecting a portfolio of securities. Clients are charged an asset-based fee for services.
CheckFree recently announced the purchase of IDS. The addition of IDS gives CheckFree connectivity to new broker dealers that in turn will give CheckFreeâs money manager clients links to a larger network of broker dealer organizations. The purchase will also extend CheckFree's client base to include more participants in the investment management industry and will allow CheckFree to drive further growth and lower costs in the market.
"The two million portfolio milestone is important for the financial services industry as a whole, since the achievement reflects overall industry growth through innovative products, such as Multiple Strategy Portfolios, Rep as Portfolio Manager and Mutual Fund Advisory," said Alex Marasco, executive vice president and general manager, CheckFree Investment Services. "CheckFree APL supports a wide range of asset management products with automated workflow tools and processing services that enable our clients to grow their assets without adding resources and costs."
The expansion of the industry as well as the proliferation of investment products validates the need for CheckFree EPL (Enhanced Portfolio Lifecycle), the companyâs state of the art technology platform. This new infrastructure investment by CheckFree has the objective of taking 50 percent of the cost out of managing these types of accounts. The first modules of CheckFree EPL are CheckFreeâs New Account Workflow and Reconciliation modules. Launched in 2004, these are already delivering on the commitment to lower industry costs and drive revenue for CheckFree APL users.