Mediant delivers Advisor Mailbox

The intent with Advisor Mailbox, a new product created by Mediant Communications LLC, is to alleviate that age-old adviser irritant — an agitated client calling in with a question about some document seemingly of dire import.

This piece originally appeared in Investment News in June 2012.

Yet on your end you cannot be sure what that document actually is except through their increasingly anxious descriptions of it. If only you could see it for yourself or better yet see it ahead of time, especially when it comes to your HNW clients and let them know it is on its way.

A representative Advisor Mailbox broker-dealer page (in this case the made-up b-d TradeStock). The list is of documents going out on May 27 ordered by issuer. Note the CUSIP column (advisers could search on or sort by this or the other columns as well). Also note the numbers under the “Accounts” column. For example, the 38 on the American Funds row means that there are 38 accounts tied to it. Clicking on the 38 would open the 38 accounts by client name (if the adviser in question has the security credentials to view them). (SOURCE: Mediant Communications LLC)

Behold the Advisor Mailbox, a new online application for advisers, at least initially those affiliated with a brokerage or independent broker-dealer, to monitor all the various documents headed to their clients ahead of time or in real time.

“You can see what your customer is getting tomorrow; you can monitor all mailings to an individual account; you can search and select by company, CUSIP, account or delivery date; you can open a pdf copy of the document itself” said Arthur Rosenzweig, president of Mediant Communications during and interview and demo of the Mailbox product.

“This is about staying ahead of your customer,” he said during the interview and in today’s prepared statement announcing the rollout.

“If you’re a financial advisor you want to know what your customer is getting. You want to give the customer a heads-up if anything important or confusing is coming. Every investor communication is a touchpoint with your customer,” he added in today’s statement.

Now what the Mailbox is not.

In my earliest correspondence with Mediant on this I thought it was yet another entry in the secure portal market.

In other words the types of products available from various broker-dealers as well as third-party technology providers like eMoney Advisor for storing client documents online securely for both the adviser to see and access as well as the client.

No, this product springs from Mediant’s core competency as an investor communications software and services company that competes with Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.

Mediant handles lots of different types of investor-destined documents (notices, prospectuses, proxy statements, reports, yada, yada, yada) for many big-name financial services companies already.

Since they are already creating, tracking, storing and acting as conduit and know where the documents are headed why not act as something as a middleman for the adviser as well?

The Mailbox product has been in trial usage with 4,000 advisers and 76 brokerage firms have been involved/are participating in the Advisor Mailbox Program during development.

Advisor Mailbox joins several other products in Mediant’s suite of offerings for brokers and includes Mediant Investor Mailbox, Mediant Proxy Manager for managed accounts, and Mediant MIC for security operations managers.

I plan to write more on this in an upcoming column, where I will get additional detail on pricing, and interview some involved advisers.

For more information visit Mediant online.