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Rating:Do You Know What an RSS Feed Can Do For You? Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, June 29, 2006

Do You Know What an RSS Feed Can Do For You?

Reported by Monica Schulz

Forward-looking mutual fund wholesalers will soon be able to tout a web-based communication product that could replace old school methods of communication between fund firms, advisors and clients.

Real Simple Syndication (RSS) -- a service that allows continuous updates to web content and news alerts via podcasts, email, and other web media -- is the newest development in a tech wave that lets asset management firms equip clients with specialized Web site capabilities.

And Fugent, a provider of online products to the financial services industry, is poised to exploit the possibilities of RSS. The Columbus, Ohio-based firm will launch a first-of-its-kind RSS product in September, letting fund companies hand off syndicated performance updates and other key information to advisors, who can then personalize and re-syndicate the content before passing it on to clients.

Sean Carroll of consulting firm Kasina -- which counts Fidelity and Oppenhimer Funds among its clients -- said this type of RSS technology is unheard of in the wholesale industry.

"RSS is not something wholesalers are aware of," Carroll, a consultant, told the MFWire. "Most advisors don't want to go to each fund's Web site to get price/preformance information, so an RSS feed would make that a lot simpler."

Carroll warns that a major impediment to the RSS streamline could be the advisors themselves. Usually behind the tech learning-curve, it is likely many are unaware of how to enable RSS feeds on their computers.

Fugent is betting they'll be eager to learn.

"This product will provide a scenario for wholesalers to meet with advisors in person and educate them," Fugent president Dan Easley said. "Wholesalers will get a tremendous amount of credit for teaching advisors, and for all the real and time savings this technology will provide."  

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