Putnam Investments on Thursday launched a redesigned website for advisors that builds on its previously announced Fund Visualizer tool to provide a range of unbiased research, educational, portfolio modeling and social media content and tools. In addition, the site customizes the experience of the advisor user so that content related to previously viewed material is made easily available.
“All the content is made to be easily shareable” with other advisors and clients in a variety of ways, said Paul O’Connell, a Putnam senior VP and Internet group director, in a live demonstration with AdvisorOne of the new site on Wednesday in New York. That content is provided through a live Twitter feed on the site’s home page and notably through a tag cloud that shows the most popular content on the site, in addition to other Putnam-provided educational material.
Advisors can also gain access to Putnam’s Twitter and Facebook accounts through the site. Putnam.com/advisor is available not just to advisors who use Putnam’s investment products, but to all advisors; the company has beta tested the site with both broker-dealer reps and RIAs.
“We designed this with a low barrier of entry,” said O’Connell, allowing users to sign in using merely their e-mail address once they certify that they are advisors. All material has been filed with FINRA for approval with end clients, but Putnam's Brian Kelley, director of sales and marketing, said that before sending any content to end clients, it should go through brokers’ and advisors’ compliance departments.
Kelley said the new site is reflective of Putnam CEO Bob Reynolds’ (left) fostering a culture of innovation, and reflected the mutual fund company’s belief that “good wholesalers take a consultative approach” to working with advisors in an open-architecture environment.
Those who do use Putnam’s products will find an enhanced level of support on the site, including live chats with an internal wholesaler, and contact information for the advisor's external wholesaler. The internal Putnam contact can also provide online access to other Putnam staffers, such as in operations, for advisors who use Putnam funds. Using a feature called “My Putnam,” users can also save content of interest to their own repository on the site, where updates to the content will be automatically displayed.
O’Connell said the company had “completely revamped the fund part of the site” to make it intuitively interactive, allowing advisors using the portfolio modeling tool to compare up to 11,000 mutual funds and ETFs (not just Putnam’s) in terms of performance over time, how changing the weighting of a specific fund would affect performance of the overall portfolio and comparing those individual funds or portfolios to a user-chosen benchmark.
The site also includes practice management content provided by outside consultants in both written and video formats.
O’Connell and Kelley stressed that the site would continue to be upgraded as advisor usage of the site and advisor suggestions were taken into account. The site—save for the Fund Visualizer, which uses Flash—is available on mobile devices as well as on computers. “On the roadmap” for future development, said Kelley, was a mobile app.