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Accenture has introduced Wealth Management Compliance Solution for Salesforce, a cloud-based application designed to help wealth management firms comply with the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule for advisers overseeing retirement accounts. The rule, effective April 2017, provides that advisers may not receive payments that create conflicts of interest—which has led to concerns that advisers will be less forthcoming with advice or will leave the profession all together.
The new solution, supported by Accenture’s Wealth Management practice, is designed to work with Salesforce’s Financial Services Cloud, Salesforce’s first industry-specific product which Accenture characterizes as being built to transform the client-advisor relationship for the digital age. The solution can be customized to clients’ specific needs, and will be offered as part of Salesforce implementation engagements between Accenture and its wealth management firm clients.
Accenture Wealth Management Compliance Solution for Salesforce facilitates client onboarding by allowing advisors to capture client data such as investing experience, risk tolerance and investment goals to be used to support Department of Labor compliance, according to Accenture’s description. Additionally, the solution’s decisioning tool guides advisors through the product selection process, which can be used for a wide array of retirement and insurance products, and helps ensure that investment rationale, suitability and client best interest are considered, captured and stored for audit purposes. The solution also automates the process of determining whether a Best Interest Contract is required and if so, automatically generates the contract for electronic signature by the client, Accenture says.
The Best Interest Contract, part of an exemption to the fiduciary rule, has the goal of ensuring that advisors are operating in their clients’ best interests when investing their retirement funds. The exemption allows advisers to conduct transactions, activities, and receive compensation, otherwise prohibited, as long as they act in accordance with fiduciary standards.
“Accenture’s latest cloud- enabled Salesforce-based solution is intended to give wealth managers some peace of mind as they scramble to understand and comply with the DOL rule,” comments Kendra Thompson, North American Lead, Accenture Wealth Management Services. “In reality, advisors only have a few months left to choose, implement, test and deploy a solution. Given the short time frame and magnitude of the changes, most firms will need to begin executing their readiness plans immediately across every area of their business. Above all, the planned changes must be communicated effectively to both advisors and clients.”
Regulatory changes in the financial services industry are pushing financial professionals to transform the way they communicate with clients and manage their investments, according to Rohit Mahna, GM of Financial Services, Salesforce. “Accenture’s new solution is helping advisors to comply with the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule by ensuring the client is at the center of every decision.”