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FPA Releases Compliance Solutions Study

Research finds limited number of financial advisers utilize compliance software

For Release: October 7, 2010

Denver, Colo. – The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) recently released the “FPA-ActiFi Adviser Technology Reports: Compliance Edition”, a survey report that highlights the key issues financial professionals face when dealing with compliance issues and developing their own systems and solutions. The research was conducted by FPA and ActiFi Inc. and sponsored by TD Ameritrade Institutional.1

The FPA-ActiFi Adviser Technology Reports: Compliance Edition, the third in a series of seven technology research reports published by FPA Press, provides guidance on how to approach compliance challenges using compliance software technology.

According to the survey, the majority of advisers do not use compliance software in their practice. The advisers surveyed who do use compliance software report being satisfied with it. Only 3.7 percent of advisers say they are somewhat dissatisfied. Additionally, the more activities an adviser uses compliance so

ftware for, the more likely the adviser is to be satisfied with their experience. The survey also found that advisers use other software tools, such as CRM or document management, for compliance purposes. The software type least used for compliance purposes is financial planning software, but even in that case more than one-third of advisers report using the software for compliance activities.

Advisers surveyed report receiving a variety of benefits as a result of using compliance software or other software types for compliance purposes. In fact, 68 percent say it helps provide peace of mind, 64 percent say it improves their productivity or saves time, and 48 percent say it enables them to more effectively serve their clients.

“FPA is pleased to offer yet another great resource to help financial planners improve their business operations,” said Marv Tuttle, Executive Director and CEO of the Financial Planning Association. “Compliance is a multi-faceted set of rules, processes, and behaviors. It’s important for financial planners to have the tools and resources they need not only to be ‘compliant’ per the letter of the law, but capture the spirit of the law and use that as a strategic advantage in attracting and servicing clients.”

”Compliance is a complex and sometimes confusing world, and knowing what others are doing in their businesses, what works, and what doesn’t is incredibly helpful to the financial adviser looking to benchmark his/her practice,” said Spenser Segal, CEO of ActiFi. “Advisers can then use this information to navigate the constant regulatory changes and help make business decisions that ultimately improve client service, operations, and profits.”

A free copy of the report will be distributed to FPA members and is available for purchase by non-members ($495) through the FPA Research Center.

The FPA-ActiFi Adviser Technology Reports: Compliance Edition is the third in a series of seven technology research reports that compare various software and technology platforms. The series will continue to be released over the next two years.

About FPA Research Center
FPA has been conducting research since its inception in 2000. The FPA Research Center was officially formed in 2007 to further empower the financial services sector with knowledge and an understanding of the financial planning process, including how it affects consumers, planners and firms.

About ActiFi
ActiFi™ is a software and solutions company focused on delivering scalable business execution programs to the financial services industry. By implementing our proven people, process, and technology solutions based on research, best-practices, and industry benchmarks, ActiFi clients run more effective and profitable businesses. Learn more at

About TD Ameritrade Institutional
TD Ameritrade Institutional is a leading provider of comprehensive brokerage and custody services to over 4,000 fee-based, independent registered investment advisers and their clients.2 Our advanced technology platform, coupled with personal support from our dedicated service teams, allows investment advisers to run their practices more efficiently and effectively while optimizing time with clients.

1 TD Ameritrade participated as a custodian respondent in the study. TD Ameritrade is separate and not affiliated with Financial Planning Association or ActiFi and is not responsible for the policies or services of any third-party, except to the limited extent that TD Ameritrade participated in the study. TD Ameritrade does not guarantee nor is it responsible for the completeness or accuracy of the data provided or for the quality of any third-party product or service. TD Ameritrade makes no warranty or representation with respect to the service as to suitability or fitness for a particular purpose. In no instance should the listing of a third party be construed as a recommendation or endorsement by TD Ameritrade.

2TD Ameritrade Institutional, Division of TD Ameritrade Inc., member FINRA ( / SIPC ( / NFA ( TD Ameritrade is a trademark jointly owned by TD Ameritrade IP Company, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank. Used with permission.