New Private Site Capabilities – Seven firms across our coverage groups introduced new capabilities to their private sites in the past month. Hartford Funds added a My Favorites feature, which allows financial advisors to save funds and resources to a central location as well as access their profile, order history, cart and subscription center. Fidelity introduced a Send Money with PayPal link to its Transfer pop-up window. Merrill Edge added a new Settled Cash Buying Power tile to the options trade ticket, which shows available funds for easy account owner reference. Charles Schwab enabled users to lock and unlock their debit cards online via its private site Debit Cards page.
Firms in the Bank Monitor coverage group featured prominently in these developments. A new Card Management interface on the Fifth Third Bank site lists all existing user debit cards and displays options for managing lost or stolen cards, provides access to PIN information and allows users to activate new cards. Chase now offers a new private site Gifting interface that allows account holders to send Starbucks or cash gift cards, while Discover Bank’s private site Help Center now includes a search tool.
Market Outlook Resources – With 2019 approaching, many asset management firms offered their investment predictions for the coming year. Eight Asset Management Monitor – Advisor firms presented their 2019 outlooks, which came in a variety of formats. Four of the firms supplied their opinions solely through commentaries. J.P. Morgan and Federated debuted The Investment Outlook for 2019: Late-Cycle Risks and Opportunities and Volatile Year Ahead Likely to End Well commentaries, respectively, and new images on the AB and Franklin Templeton homepages promoted their Global Macro Outlook – December 2018 and Distortion, Divergence and Diversification 2019 Global Investment Outlook commentaries.
Three firms stand out for offering additional outlook resources. Lord Abbett released its market outlooks in commentary format—Investment Roundtable: Setting the Scene for 2019 and 2019 Investment Outlook: Opportunities in the New Year—but the firm also notably supplied a dedicated 2019 Investment Outlook page and a webinar on the topic. American Funds also offered a 2019 Outlook webinar. Janus Henderson updated its Market GPS page to reflect its 2019 outlook.
Bank of America Launched Rebrand
Bank of America launched an extensive brand positioning campaign—as detailed in a press release—that focuses on environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles, highlighting contributions of the firm and its partners. As part of campaign, the firm introduced a new logo, which it promoted on Twitter.
AXA Revamps Private Site
In the Annuity Monitor coverage group, AXA revamped its account owner site to create an integrated experience, with all navigation available through the Manage Your Account flyout menu and a more detailed homepage despite largely unchanged content. The site now integrates account and transaction details into one location. A new Help page provides expandable FAQs categorized by Account Details, Manage Portfolios, Security and Technical Issues.