A Midwestern B-D Shifts to "More Open Architecture"
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Wednesday, December 06, 2017

A Midwestern B-D Shifts to "More Open Architecture"

A Midwestern broker-dealer with a proprietary mutual fund firm sibling is shifting its investment platform in a way that fundsters should pay attention to.

Waddell & Reed, Inc., the independent B-D arm of Waddell & Reed Financial, is "moving toward a more open architecture" approach to its platform, Financial Planning reports. That approach translates into the B-D's FAs gaining access to more mutual fund choices from outside fund shops.

The platform changes at WRI come during "a period of unprecedented change" for Waddell & Reed Financial, unnamed sources tell FP. Indeed, two weeks ago WRF CEO Phil Sanders revealed the promotion of Nikki Newton to president of Ivy Distributors, Inc. (WRF's distribution arm for its own proprietary mutual funds) and the promotion of Shawn Mihal to president of WRI, both to succeed the departing Tom Butch. Then last week Sander confirmed that WRF chairman and former CEO Henry Herrmann will retire next spring, passing the chairman spot to Sanders.

In addition to WRI's new leadership and expanded investment platform, FP describes other changes at the indie B-D, including higher FA payouts and overall cost and headcount reductions.

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