Magazine article American Banker

SEI Investment Adds PC-Based Planning Tool

Magazine article American Banker

SEI Investment Adds PC-Based Planning Tool

Article excerpt

SEI Investment Services has added a PC-based financial planning tool to help banks sell both proprietary mutual funds and SEI's new family of retail fund products.

A total of 20 banks have signed up to use the product, called Assist, as part of their investment product marketing efforts. In that group are Wells Fargo Corp., San Francisco, Philadelphia's CoreStates Financial Corp., and Frost National Bank, San Antonio. The system was tested at Fleet Bank and First Hawaiian Bank for a year.

Assist can be used on personal computers or laptops. It helps a broker or financial planner analyze customer profiles and goals, suggests investment strategies, creates documents to close a sale, and provides record keeping for sales and client contacts.

Company officials claim Assist will "streamline the investment process for packaged investment products."

"The real key is that this is a PC-based tool to allow banks to sell mutual funds at the branch level," said Richard Lieb, president of Wayne, Pa.-based SEI. "It takes a client through all the issues involved in a mutual fund purchase, such as investment goals, asset allocation, and building a model portfolio."

The product also makes full use of Windows' graphical user interface. "That is what's impressive," Mr. Lieb noted. "You're not looking at screens of numbers."

The program will enable banks to compete with mutual fund companies and brokerage firms in the consumer marketplace "by increasing the investment planning capabilities of their sales forces," Mr. …

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