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Rating:H&R Block Chooses MoneyStar Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, September 27, 1999

H&R Block Chooses MoneyStar

Reported by Jason Shank

H&R Block is launching a company wide restructuring in order to leverage its years of relationship building through its myriad tax preparation centers and its recent acquisition of Olde Financial, the fourth largest domestic discount brokerage. The company has selected MoneyStar to provide electronic distribution of mutual funds and variable annuities via its LifeScript and MoneyStar Financial Network (MoneyStar/fn) products.

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  • "H&R Block is launching a comprehensive financial services strategy that includes private-label offerings as well as a broad array of non-proprietary offerings for our clients. The LifeScript software and the comprehensive MoneyStar/fn delivery network will help enable us to achieve our goals," said Bernie Wilson, vice president and general manager-Financial Services Group for H&R Block.

    Block's financial advisors will be using MoneyStar LifeScript to assist in customer sales and have access to on-line distribution of mutual fund and insurance products via MoneyStar/fn.

    The MoneyStar/fn product currently includes mutual funds and variable annuities from companies including AIM, Delaware Investments, Franklin Templeton Funds, GE Mutual Funds, ING Variable Annuities and others. But that's just the start, according to Marc Ferguson, chairman and founder of MoneyStar, a privately held Austin Texas company which recently completed its third round of venture financing.

    "This is a brand new market that many mutual fund companies simply wouldn't have guessed existed just a few years ago, it's a wonderful opportunity for them," Ferguson told the MFWire.com. "H&R Block has identified a select list of fund companies that we will be approaching -- we think many of them will join (MoneyStar) because of the new venture."

    Ferguson sees the giant tax preparer as having first mover advantage in the still relatively untapped CPA-customer market. He sees the tax preparation and tax advise expertise giving it a stronger and more trusted relationship with customers that many other large financial services firms do not have.

    He also sees the relationship growing as both companies grow out the technology involved, especially in terms of execution and confirmation of trades.

    "H&R Block is very much a pioneer in its field as we are in our field -- it's fair to say that we will be spending a sizable portion of the monies raised (in venture capital) to continue and develop that relationship," Ferguson said.

    "The most interesting element to the new alliance is that it touches millions of customers that are already in an established, trusted relationship with H&R Block -- it's an almost unbelievable opportunity!" he said. 

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