has been hailed by the financial press as a Web-spawned alternative to funds. Now the startup is eyeing the institutional market by targeting financial advisors and fund companies for its service. The firm said that it will launch special Web sites for advisors and money managers this October.
This site will allow advisors to private label the product and will offer recommendation and modeling tools for building Folios, execution capabilities, and reporting and performance management features, said the firm.
The firm is attacking this market through its new Institutional business unit. To head these efforts the company has turned to Jeff Helms
, managing director of FOLIOfn Institutional. He was most recently president and chief executive officer of The Advisors Group, a full service, online brokerage firm. He has also served as national sales manager for Calvert Securities Corporation.
"Since we launched FOLIOfn last March, we have had tremendous interest from the institutional market in offering our first product, FOLIO investing, to their clients," said FOLIOfn founder and CEO Steve Wallman
. "FOLIOfn Institutional was developed to deliver our innovative financial products to the financial services community. Jeff's background gives him the expertise to understand what our institutional clients need."
The startup is targeting its "folio" product to financial advisors, banks, credit unions, insurance companies, brokerages, and mutual fund companies. With folios investors are able buy and trade personalized portfolios of stocks. One of the advantages of this product that may appeal to advisors is that folios allow investors to take control the taxable events. The firm has developed a proprietary tax lot system allows financial professionals to manage portfolios tax-efficiently manner.
"FOLIOfn understands the challenges facing today's institutional market," said Helms. "For example, advisors are concerned about retaining clients in a competitive advisory market, adding more value while controlling rising costs, and building more franchise value into their practice. FOLIOfn harnesses the power of the Internet to deliver products that enable advisors to add tremendous value, and our pricing make us very attractive to money managers and advisors of all sizes. Our offering is unique, and that differentiation is important to advisors and institutions. We're in discussions with many financial services firms who see the power and potential of FOLIO investing as a complement to their current offering, and we look forward to working with them."
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