BOSTON — If you want your customers to embrace a new service, include them in its development. That's the thinking behind FidelityConnect®, a new website for the more than 5,000 retirement advisors and consultants who manage workplace plans with Fidelity. The easy-to-use dashboard provides advisors a complete "book of business" snapshot of all their defined contribution plans recordkept with Fidelity. It also improves upon the plan-level analytics that advisors have come to depend on from the firm.
FidelityConnect is being piloted with a number of Fidelity advisor clients and is expected to be fully available during the first quarter of 2017.
"As an advisor with many clients, I often need a quick view of all our clients that Fidelity recordkeeps," said Dave Westra, a partner at MRA Associates in Phoenix. "The website we're helping develop is intuitive and easy-to-understand, allowing me more time to spend helping clients."
User Experience Design Key to Developing New Site
To understand the work style and needs of clients, Fidelity's User Experience Design (UXD) team met with more than 150 retirement advisors, learning how much time they spend researching investments, compiling reports and navigating the existing site.
"We sat with advisors in our labs and in the field to develop a shared vision for what FidelityConnect could help them achieve," said Heather Wingfield, Fidelity's principal information architect and FidelityConnect's design leader. Wingfield's background in human computer interaction and design helped her build screen prototypes in tandem with advisors. "The collaboration is essential. Together, we uncovered what advisors need at their fingertips, and continued to refine the site to improve the user experience."
"Fidelity is a true design partner and our feedback is being heard," said Westra. "Spending our time pulling reports or looking for information doesn't add value. FidelityConnect is as user-friendly for advisors as the company's website is for 401(k) participants."
New Simplified Homepage
Retirement advisors and consultants expressed the need for a single view into their entire book of business with Fidelity. In response, Fidelity designed a personalized executive summary with three tabs: plans, investments and compensation. This view offers advisors instant, high-level analysis of all their plans with Fidelity, with the ability to drill down for details.
Behind the homepage is plan-level information to help advisors view and evaluate individual plan statistics and design, investments held, compensation, and contact information for sponsor clients. These pages leverage Fidelity's Executive Insights to offer advisors the same actionable intelligence and benchmarking sponsors benefit from today. With a couple clicks, an advisor can see all the plans and participants invested in a single fund across their book of business, plus their performance and assets.
Changing Regulatory Landscape Putting More Demands on Advisors
New regulations from the Department of Labor's (DOL) Fiduciary Investment Advice Rule could put even more pressure on an advisor's time with retirement plan clients. FidelityConnect will give them greater access and control over a client's plan design and investments.
"The new DOL rule may increase the workload on already busy advisors," said Tom Woods, senior vice president, Fidelity Investments. "FidelityConnect promises retirement advisors improved efficiency, insights and oversight to help them better service their clients."
About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity's goal is to make financial expertise broadly accessible and effective in helping people live the lives they want. With assets under administration of $5.0 trillion, including managed assets of $2.0 trillion as of January 31, 2016, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 25 million people invest their own life savings, nearly 20,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing nearly 10,000 advisory firms with investment and technology solutions to invest their own clients' money. Privately held for nearly 70 years, Fidelity employs 45,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit https://www.fidelity.com/about.