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Merrill Picks Matrix For Advisor Automation

Merrill Lynch will use an interface from Matrix Settlement & Clearing Services to link its Retirement Cash Management Account with third party advisors.

Merrill Lynch will use an interface from Matrix Settlement & Clearing Services to link its Retirement Cash Management Account with third party advisors.Cliff D'Amato, ceo of Matrix, said the interface, named RCMA Investment Link SM, automates the process advisors use to enter the trades based on the funds in the plan the advisor is working with. He said this benefits plan sponsors because advisors do not have to physically enter the trades and can focus on consulting with plans. "Right now MSCS is the only link back to Merrill for the advisors," he said. "This is a great way for Merrill and their advisors to improve relationships with customers."

D'Amato said an additional plus is that the assets in a given trade will now be put back on Merrill's books. He said the advisors previously had to go through outside portals, such as local wirehouses or the National Securities Clearing Corporation. "This process didn't allow for those assets to be on Merrill's credit sheet because it wasn't actually Merrill who was making the trades," he said. "Those numbers are very important to Merrill because they determine how much Merrill's advisors get compensated."

"Not only is getting the assets back on Merrill's books crucial, but this saves a lot of man power and time for the advisors," said John Moody, president of MSCS. "Advisors will have more time to push new products too." He said this service is currently available for Merrill retirement plans only, but has received interest from other firms, which he did not name. He said MSCS will focus on its relationship with Merrill before it jumps ahead to work with other firms. He also said this arrangement has been in the works for several years.

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