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Impact Financial Systems

R e spo n se t o A d viso r Gro up RF P f o r a D ig ita l


On bo ard ing Pro duc t

Submission Date: 02/12/2018

Impact Financial Systems


721 Jetton St. Suite 300
Davidson, NC 28036

www.ifsautomation.com
Table of Contents
Executive Summary ................................................................................................................................................................... 3
Initial Business Requirements ................................................................................................................................................... 4
8.1.......................................................................................................................................................................................... 4
8.2.......................................................................................................................................................................................... 8
8.3.......................................................................................................................................................................................... 9
8.4........................................................................................................................................................................................ 11
8.5........................................................................................................................................................................................ 15
8.6........................................................................................................................................................................................ 17
8.7........................................................................................................................................................................................ 19
Product Deployment, Support & Training ............................................................................................................................... 20
9.1........................................................................................................................................................................................ 20
9.2........................................................................................................................................................................................ 21
9.3........................................................................................................................................................................................ 23
9.4........................................................................................................................................................................................ 25
9.5........................................................................................................................................................................................ 28
9.6........................................................................................................................................................................................ 30
CONCLUSION ........................................................................................................................................................................... 30

P a g e |2 IFS Confidential
Executive Summary
Founded in 2002, Impact Financial Systems (IFS) is the leading provider of process automation solutions, specializing
in the financial services industry. We are honored to have the opportunity to respond to Advisor Group’s Request for
Proposal for a Digital Onboarding Offering. After reviewing the RFP, we are confident that our Onboarding Solution
will help you meet your stated mission of “providing a simple, easy-to-use digital user experience that meets and
exceeds the expectations and needs of both Advisors and Clients engaging in Advisor Group’s digital presence.”
Specifically, we believe the following characteristics of our firm, the IFS Onboarding Solution, and its foundation, the
IFS platform, will help you meet the goals and objectives you outlined on page 5 of the RFP:
• Deep integration capabilities – IFS leverages an open architecture to support integration with any vendor,
technology or partner, maximizing your existing technology partnerships and unifying the digital experience
for all users.
• Flexibility and customization abilities – One of the biggest advantages of the IFS platform and Onboarding
Solution is that it can be customized to meet your business model and incorporate any of Advisor Group’s
unique requirements. We have addressed the ones you called out in the RFP in this proposal.
• Experience in the broker dealer industry – IFS was founded specifically to support the unique needs of the
broker dealer industry, and today, over 90% of our overall business is dedicated to the IBD space. We are
deeply familiar with the unique regulatory environment, specific workflow requirements and challenges
associated with unifying advisory, brokerage and managed programs.
• Specialization in onboarding – Since our inception in 2002, we have provided onboarding solutions for some of
the leading financial services firms. We have seen how consumer demands have changed as technology has
evolved and have adapted our solution to ensure those demands are met by our clients. Our Onboarding
Solution allows you to deliver streamlined, digital and efficient onboarding experiences to your advisors and
clients.

We believe the capabilities, flexibility and comprehensive nature of our platform and Onboarding Solution meet the
requirements outlined in your RFP. Our track record of providing powerful, effective onboarding solutions to other
similar financial services firms, combined with the proven nature of our platform, makes us the best partner for your
digital transformation. Should you have any questions after reviewing this proposal, please contact:
Travis Champion, Managing Director
980-220-2250
travis.champion@ifsautomation.com

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Initial Business Requirements
Proposal
Requirement Category Description of Requirement
Number
8.1 Company 1. Please provide a brief summary of your company’s history, including its
Overview mission, vision, and values.
IFS was founded in 2002 by Tim Parsons, who had a vision to create a
new and modern web-based business process automation platform that
would empower business analysts and subject matter experts to develop
complex solutions using a highly agile methodology. After spending 20
years in various leadership positions in the financial services industry, Tim
knew how critical this need was. In pursuit of this vision, IFS was founded
and the IFS platform was developed to provide a better, faster and more
economical approach to the automation of complex, repeatable
processes, particularly opening new accounts and moving money. Today,
IFS supports 23 of the nation’s leading financial services organizations.

The IFS mission is “to deliver business process automation that meets or
exceeds our clients’ expectations 100% of the time through a relentless
commitment to delivering superior solutions, people, services and
support.”

Our vision is “to be the leader in delivering business process automation


by providing the best results and overall experience to the business user,
and by allowing our clients to boldly embrace and implement economical
change. We will be highly regarded for our exceptional commitment to
our clients and employees.”
Ownership 2. Please provide a background of your company’s ownership structure? Is
Structure your organization a privately held company?
Yes, IFS is a privately-held company.
Ownership 3. Who are your key employees and what protections are in place in the case
Structure of a liquidity event? How much of a stock option pool has been set aside
for employees?
Key employees of IFS include:

Employee Shareholders: Tim Parsons (Founder & CEO), Jeff Deming (COO
& CFO) and Ray Mulligan (MD, Product Strategy)

Other Key Employees: Travis Champion (Managing Director, Sales &


Marketing), Roy Goodart (Managing Director, Insurance Solutions), Joel
Brewster (Chief Architect), Randy Barnes (Director, Product
Management) and Mary Paige Kistler (Director, Solution Delivery).

Key non-shareholder employees all have an equity tie to the business in


the form of Stock Appreciation Rights. No other employees have Stock
Appreciation Rights. As a sub-chapter S company, no stock option pool
has been established to date.

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Financial 4. Is your company profitable today? If not, when do you project getting to
Information profitability?
Yes, IFS has been profitable almost every year since its inception in 2002.
Financial 5. How much equity and debt has the company raised and what is the
Information capitalization structure? Will future equity or debt financing be necessary?
The company is currently owned and operated by its founder and
members of its executive team. No equity has been raised to date and no
long-term debt has been incurred. Future equity or debt financing
expectations are not expected unless driven by the opportunity to
accelerate growth.
Financial 6. In the event of a bankruptcy event or sale to a direct competitor, would
Information you be willing to put the code base in escrow?
Yes, we have done this for many of our current customers.
Company 7. Please provide organizational charts for your company.
Overview Please see attached document “IFS Org Chart November 2017.”

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Key Employee 8. Please provide the bios and contact information of key resources
Information applicable to the project as described in this RFP.
The following would be key resources for this project:

Ray Mulligan, Managing Director, Product Strategy


ray.mulligan@ifsautomation.com
Ray Mulligan brings more than 25 years of experience in consulting and
financial services to IFS. As the company’s MD, Product Strategy, Ray
manages product strategy, innovation and business planning for the
company’s business process automation solutions. He also drives new
business development by identifying and developing new solution
opportunities.

Ray joined IFS in 2012, after having successfully implemented IFS’s


solutions at Wachovia Wealth Management (now Wells Fargo). During his
time as Chief Operating Officer for Wachovia, Ray managed all aspects of
wealth management support functions, including call centers, credit
operations, risk management, customer experience and branch office
support. As a former client of IFS, Ray has a unique perspective and the
experience needed to ensure that IFS’s solutions deliver exceptional
results to our clients. Ray regularly shares his expertise and experience by
speaking at industry events.

Randy Barnes, Director, Product Management


randy.barnes@ifsautomation.com
Randy Barnes serves as IFS’s Director, Product Management, a role that
combines his deep industry knowledge and his business acumen. Randy
brings nearly 20 years of experience in enterprise technology and the
financial services industry to IFS. Randy’s diverse experience includes
software product design and development, organizational development
and project management in the securities and brokerage space.

Randy joined IFS in 2013 after serving in varied roles at both Thomson
Financial and Thomson Reuters. As Director of Product Management for
Thomson Reuters BETA Systems, Randy played a key role in setting
strategic and tactical direction for the company’s brokerage processing
systems.

Randy regularly shares his industry experience, speaking at financial


services and technology conferences and events, including the SIFMA Ops
Conference and SIFMA's Red Group round table.

Mary Paige Kistler, Director, Solution Delivery


mary.paige.kistler@ifsautomation.com
As IFS's Director, Solution Delivery, Mary Paige Kistler plays a crucial role
in ensuring that the company’s solutions meet client and industry

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demands. In this role, Mary Paige supervises IFS’s team of project
managers and solution analysts, and ensures that IFS maintains its 100%
client satisfaction rate. She has implemented a number of client
educational programs that have helped IFS clients maximize their
investment in IFS solutions, as well as developed internal training
programs designed to develop IFS talent quickly and efficiently.

Mary Paige joined IFS in 2009 after serving varied roles at Deloitte,
Lowe’s and Wachovia. In 2015, Mary Paige was recognized by Charlotte
Business Journal as an outstanding “Woman in Business.”
Financial 9. Provide two (2) years financial statements (P&L and Balance Sheet)
Information As a private company, IFS has a long-standing practice of not sharing its
financial statements
Financial 10. Provide most recent quarterly financial statements (P&L and Balance
Information Sheet)
As a private company, IFS has a long-standing practice of not sharing its
financial statements.

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Proposal
Requirement Category Description of Requirement
Number
8.2 Company How many employees does the company have in key areas providing this product
Overview (development, support, installation, implementation, marketing, administration)
IFS has 39 total employees and 7 contractors, including the following
departments:
• Development & Testing: 9 employees/3 contractors
• Sales & Marketing: 4 employees
• Finance & Administration: 4 employees/2 contractors
• Services, Support & Education: 18 employees/2 contractors
Company How many programmers, support personnel and sales staff are dedicated to this
Overview product? Is there an offshore model? If so, what location?
33 full-time IFS employees are dedicated to the IFS platform and Onboarding
Solution. We do not have an offshore model.
Experience Financial Service Experience: Is your firm familiar with regulatory requirements for
broker dealers? Please expand.
Yes, IFS exclusively supports the financial services industry, and, as a result, is very
familiar with regulatory requirements for broker dealers. Some recent examples
include SEC MMF Reform and Trusted Contact (Senior Protection Act) regulations.
We are committed to staying up to date on the evolving regulatory environment
affecting broker dealers and work closely with our clients to develop compliance
solutions in a timely fashion.
Experience Is your firm familiar with regulatory requirements for security and protection of
NPI?
Yes, non-public information is encrypted in transit at rest within the IFS platform.
Experience How many years of experience do you have with providing unified and digitized
onboarding solutions and services?
IFS was founded in 2002 and has been providing unified and digitized onboarding
solutions and services since its inception. Thus, 2018 marks our 16th year of
providing such solutions and services.
Experience Provide two (2) examples of projects of similar scope to this project.
Two of our most recent onboarding implementations were for CUNA and
FutureAdvisor.
Company What percentage of the work is being performed in-house vs. being outsourced to a
Overview 3rd party provider?
100% of the work for this project will be performed in-house.

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Proposal
Requirement Category Description of Requirement
Number
8.3 Clients, 1. How many clients currently use your system? Please provide a sample list of
References and clients and features/components they use? (e. g. Advisor Account opening
Awards components, or Investor specific work flows etc.). If possible, state Clients that
are in broker dealer industry.
IFS currently has 23 clients using its platform and solutions. See attached
document “Features by Client” for a sample list of clients and
features/components they use.
Clients, 2. Please describe the success of your platform, including any awards or industry
References and recognition, and provide all relevant statistics on clients, AUM (managed vs.
Awards tracking) broken out by segment if applicable.
IFS has experienced great success with its platform. In fact, we have a 100%
client satisfaction rating and a strong reputation of delivering solutions on-
time and on-budget. The IFS platform has been recognized in many forms,
including by organizations such as Deloitte, NC Technology Association and
FTF News Technology. Our clients have also received recognition for their use
of IFS solutions. One example is the Chairman’s Award honoring outstanding
accomplishments and innovation, which was awarded to an IFS client for their
use of our Asset Movement Solution. Client details and statistics are client-
privileged information.
Experience 3. What percentage of your overall business is specific to the (IBD) or other
Advisor Home Office environments? The RIA / Financial Advisor marketplace?
Please describe clients with businesses similar to Advisor Group
Nearly all of our overall business is specific to the IBD/Advisor Home Office
Environments—91%.
Clients, 4. Please provide the following information for three client references (preferably
References and within our industry and with similar needs) whom we may contact:
Awards
a. Company Name, Contact Name and Email/Phone
b. Products/Services you provide for them
c. Are all of the features we are requesting from your product being
used in production or are some or all of them still in testing?
d. Please list any features that are only in testing.
If possible state the number of transactions that your platforms
handle in a day? (e. g. 1500 Accounts opening, 1000 ACH Transactions
etc.)

Ameriprise:
a. Denis Belnap, Senior Director Application Development
Email: denis.w.belnap@ampf.com
Office: 612.678.8345

Matthew Keen, VP Architecture and Brokerage Experience


Email: matthew.t.keen@ampf.com
Office: 612.671.1910

b. Products: Account Maintenance, Asset Movement, Managed


Accounts

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c. All products are being used in production
d. All products are being used in production
e. All transaction numbers are privileged to client only

Envestnet
a. Jen Nolan, VP Product Management
Email: jen.nolan@envestnet.com
Office: 312.818.5802

b. Products: Account Opening, Account Maintenance


c. All products are in a testing status
d. All products are in a testing status
e. All transaction numbers are privileged to client only

Future Advisor
a. Katharine Wolf, Director Sales and Business Development
Email: katharine.wolf@futureadvisor.com
Office: 415.516.3287

Joseph Cianciolo, Head of Sales and Business Development


Email: Joe@FutureAdvisor.com
Office: 772.342.3098
b. Products: Account Opening, Asset Movement
c. All products are in a testing status
d. All products are in a testing status
e. All transaction numbers are privileged to client only

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Proposal
Requirement Category Description of Requirement
Number
8.4 General Platform 1. Please describe the product and its core features.
Please see the attached documents “IFS Automation Platform” and
“Onboarding Overview” for key information about our platform and
Onboarding Solution.
General Platform 2. Please describe the architecture of your product, the frequency of new
releases and your strategy to support backwards compatibility in new
releases. Is the product built to be in a load balanced web farm
environment?
IFS deploys 5 Platform releases per year (approximately every 2
months). Each client chooses when to deploy new releases of the IFS
Platform. IFS does not force clients to upgrade the IFS Platform on any
specific time schedule. Clients typically deploy one platform update per
year in order to take advantage of new features. Yes, the product is built
to be in a load balanced web farming environment. See attached
document “IFS Architecture Overview” for more information on our
architecture.
General Platform 3. How long has the current release of your system been available and how
many versions or releases of your software do you support? Is there a
standard quarterly release cycle or is it on demand per client’s request?
How do you manage framework revisions compared to client customized
features?
When considering release schedules, it is important to differentiate
between releases of the IFS platform (executables that run on the
server), and releases of configuration (New Account Opening business
logic including rules, workflow, UI, etc.).

The IFS platform version 7.14 has been available since January 1, 2018.
IFS does not force clients to upgrade the IFS platform on any specific time
schedule. Clients typically deploy one platform update per year in order
to take advantage of new features. IFS performs five platform releases
per year (approximately every 2 months). Each client chooses when to
deploy new releases of the IFS platform.

Platform updates can be deployed independently of configuration


updates. All of the client customized features are captured in the IFS
database and are deployed in a configuration update. Configuration
updates are typically deployed much more frequently than platform
updates.
4. Please describe if you do any periodic security vulnerability scanning on
your application?
IFS utilizes VeraCode as our vendor for all security vulnerability scanning
and assessments. Each version of our software, as part of our Software
Delivery Life Cycle (SDLC), undergoes a Static Analysis (SAST) and Dynamic
Analysis based upon industry best practice security policies. VeraCode
uses the highest level PCI 3.2 and OWASP security policies to identify and
remediate the world’s top security threats.
Product Roadmap 5. What is your timeline of future products/product development over the
/ Strategy next 12 - 36 months?

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Our application continues to evolve with the industry with regulatory,
functional, and technology drivers. The platform’s flexibility allows us to
quickly incorporate items such as the trusted contact and DOL
enhancements. As the digital advisor functionality continues to be
defined, we will respond with increased offerings to allow for client and
advisor interaction and cooperation in every transaction.
We will build on our already robust flexibility to make it easier to provide
“mass customization” of the core application to meet the needs of
specific functionality based on clearing firm, broker-dealer, rep type,
customer involvement, product type, etc by providing user driven
configuration options.
We will continue to take advantage of other platforms and applications
movement towards being truly open. We will take advantage of
additional APIs and integration layers with Salesforce, Envestnet, TD
Ameritrade, Fidelity, Pershing, and Schwab to name a few.
From a technology perspective, our plans for the next 24 months include:
• Add eSign Live as eSignature partner
• Angular rewrite of Work In Progress
• Angular rewrite of Work Queue
• Design and planning for Angular rewrite of core UI
• API enhancements
• Service request editor and BA productivity enhancements
• Historical data store (archive)
• Angular rewrite of core UI
Experience 6. Please describe your relationships with industry custodians. Back office
platform integrations with other custodians (e. g. Broadridge).
IFS is committed to the pursuit of API integration with all back office
platforms and custodians. Currently IFS has API integrations with
Thomson Reuters Beta, Talysis, FIS, Pershing, NFS/Fidelity and the
capability to integrate with TD Ameritrade through its DocuSign solution.
General Platform 7. Which firms do you currently clear and custody with? Are you able to open
and manage accounts at Pershing and NFS?
IFS is able to open and manage accounts with both Pershing and NFS
using API integrations.
General Platform 8. Which specific account types do you support for both individual and entity
(non-person) clients?
Please refer to the attached document (Registration Types
Supported.xlsx) for a full list of registration types we have supported.
Also, please note that each registration type is determined by the end
Custodian or System of Record, and we will make the necessary updates
to reflect the correct registration name/title based on their requirements
(example: Beneficiary IRA vs. Inherited IRA are both the same functional
account type, just with different names/titles).

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General Platform 9. Do you have any relationship / integration with Envestnet’s platform –
ENV2? Please describe the specific integrations you have.
Envestnet is an IFS client and uses the IFS platform to build applications
within their environment. We have a very close working relationship. We
are able to utilize all of their existing APIs to share information
interactively between our platforms. We are in conversations with
multiple joint clients to integrate our client onboarding solution, but do
not currently have any in production. The first scheduled release is July
2018.
General Platform 10. Does the platform allow for roles-based configurations and permissions?
Please describe.
Yes, each user configured on the platform is associated with a role
(financial advisor, back office operations, OSJ, etc.). The role is associated
with a set of privileges. These can be customized based on the client’s
need.
General Platform 11. Does the platform have an advisor / enterprise dashboard? Please
describe.
The IFS platform has a dashboard that is at both the advisor and
enterprise level. The dashboard reports the following information:
1. Service Request Dashboard – divides all the service requests
into: incomplete, opened today, closed today, due today, and
overdue service requests.
2. Workflow Task Dashboard – divides all the service requests into:
incomplete, added today, completed today, due today, and
overdue tasks.
3. Volume Dashboard – measures the volumes of service requests
that are closed, incomplete, opened, overdue, or any
combination of the four
4. Missing Documents – displays a list of all service requests that
are waiting for documents to be attached to them before they
can be completed.
Please note: The dashboard information is generally sent to a
client’s Enterprise Dashboard (proprietary).
General Platform 12. Does the platform support unique branding and configurations for
different RIAs and/or branch offices?
The platform supports unique branding and configuration for different
broker dealers, clearing correspondents, channels (e.g. RIA) and
branches. The unique branding includes: web pages, documents, rules
engine, and workflows as examples.
General Platform 13. Please describe the platform’s alerting capabilities e.g., ability to send an
advisor an alert when a transaction moves the client out of the risk range
for this account, others.
The alert system provides several types of records: general, documents,
edits, email, workflow, and notes. The alerts are recorded in the audit
tab of all service requests and can be displayed in a side panel of the
service request if desired with panel optional types. In addition, the
alerts can be configured for suppression and masking for different user
types for cases like compliance alerts.

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General Platform 14. Please list your key service delivery locations. Specify those that are
applicable to this offering.
IFS headquarters are located at 721 Jetton Street, Suite 300, Davidson,
NC, 28036. This is where our support, services and implementation teams
are based.
Core Strengths 15. What differentiates you from other firms offering similar products?
IFS is the leading provider of automation solutions for Onboarding and
Asset Movement with the leading brokerage, wealth, banking and
insurance companies. Here are the top five reasons our clients place their
trust in us.
1. 100% Client Satisfaction – We quickly get to the root of our clients’
problems and are dedicated to developing solutions that work for
them. Because of this relentless commitment, we are proud to say
that IFS has a 100% client satisfaction rate.
2. Cost Efficiency - Save time and money by partnering with an
organization that’s done it before. Our comprehensive pre-built
solutions for onboarding and asset movement, combined with the
power of the IFS Automation Platform, means that we can deliver
much quicker and more economically than the competition.
3. Commitment to Innovation - We are committed to the continuous
improvement of our solutions and are constantly expanding our
network of partners. As an IFS client, you will benefit by having
access to technology that is always on the cutting-edge.
4. Industry Experience - You will not have to train IFS in your business.
The IFS team is comprised of financial services industry veterans,
skilled technologists and business process and operations experts.
You’ll enjoy working with a team that understands your challenges
because our experts have been in your shoes before.
5. Simple, Intuitive, and Practical - IFS was founded on the core belief
that even complex automation solutions can and should be easy-to-
use. That’s why our solutions were built for the business user, not IT
staff. As a result, business users can easily generate and maintain IFS
solutions with little reliance on IT or programming staff.
Core Strengths 16. What makes your company the best partner for Advisor Group?
IFS can help Advisor Group achieve your automation goals with our
mature solutions built by industry experts, which contain over a decade
of best practices and are specifically designed for the brokerage industry.
In addition, our solutions are highly configurable to Advisor Group’s
needs and wants to ensure a high adoption and success rate.

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Proposal
Requirement Category Description of Requirement
Number
8.5 General Platform 1. Explain the system’s support for proposal generation systems and details
on the flexibilities and customizations within the Investor Policy Statement
(IPS).
We are able to integrate to the fullest extent possible with any proposal
generation system. We have instances where the RTQ is answered within
our application at either the client or account level and then passed to
the proposal application, or vice versa. Any data elements that can be
extracted/fed from/to the proposal application can be captured as part of
an account opening event and placed on IPS or other documents in the
package or displayed in the UI. If an API is available we can load dynamic
options such as available products and available managers interactively.
General Platform 2. Please describe the risk tolerance questionnaire, its scoring method, and
the ability for configuration. Can Advisor Group change the wording of the
questions, number of questions and mapping of scores to models?
We have standard Risk Tolerance questions that we use as a starting
point, and work with you to modify them as needed, to ensure we
capture the data relevant to you and your back office provider. These
questions can be customized (e.g. wording, quantity, etc.). We will work
with you to develop the appropriate scoring algorithm into our business
rules engine.
General Platform 3. Can Advisor Group utilize their own Risk Tolerance Questionnaire (RTQ),
risk scoring methodology?
Yes, in addition to modifying the standard questions, Advisor Group could
opt to utilize their own RTQ.
General Platform 4. Please describe the use of data aggregation, including the specific
technology used and how it is leveraged in the proposal process.
Please see 8.6.2.
General Platform 5. Please describe the new account opening and funding processes including
technologies and timelines for processing new accounts, transfers, trading,
and distribution processes.
Based on the client, the new account creation process can begin at
various entry points. These include CRMs, Proposal Generation Tools, or
the firm’s advisor desktop. Accounts can also be created directly from the
solution or via our solution’s client-facing portal. Account funding can
take many shapes, such as ACH Setup, Account Transfer, Journals, or
waiting for a manual deposit. In all cases, we have tasks in the workflow
to wait for the appropriate funding milestone. Overall workflow timelines
are configured with the client to ensure proper SLAs and due dates for
each step of the workflow.
General Platform 6. Does the funding process include both Automated Clearing House (ACH)
and Automated Client Account Transfer (ACAT) features?
Yes

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General Platform 7. If available, please provide any documentation of relevant workflows.
Refer to the attached documents (Sample Onboarding Flow.pdf and
Sample Onboarding Document Workflow.pdf) for a typical example of an
Onboarding workflow – both the Onboarding request AND a separate
workflow for the Document Review process. IFS works with each client
to update the workflow per their requirements to ensure the proper
steps are included throughout the life of the request, including human
review steps as well as system integrations that need to occur within the
workflow (example – integrate to System of Record after a certain
approval has been completed).
General Platform 8. Can the new account opening process be leveraged in other parts of
Advisor Group outside of the digital advice solution? Please explain how
this would be implemented.
IFS new account opening supports all service models – traditional, hybrid
and self-managed (digital advice). The IFS new account opening process
is being utilized with our robo-advisors, independent broker dealers, and
clearing firm clients. With these clients, IFS has instances of account
opening being initiated by a client, an advisor or an advisor assisted case.

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Proposal
Requirement Category Description of Requirement
Number
8.6 Platform Features 1. Please provide details on the document storage / vault capabilities. Also
secure email and file transfer to/from clients.
Each request is stored within the database, including any attached
documents that are part of the process. This information can be retrieved
through online searches and/or reports. We also integrate with document
storage solutions for permanent, compliant document storage.

IFS does not provide any special email security. When sensitive
information or documents must be transmitted to clients, it is best
practice to send the client a link back to the IFS platform, where the client
can be authenticated and documents and data are viewed/retrieved.

Documents can be delivered securely via DocuSign or other eSignature


vendors or document repositories like Dropbox.
Platform Features 2. Please provide details on the account aggregation functionality.
Our platform allows the viewing and displaying of consolidated account
information (such as activity across a household of accounts) based on
data that is available from other data stores. For example, we are able to
show historical activity across clients and balances across accounts, but
those are not stored in the IFS database, but gathered dynamically via
interfaces with other systems.
Platform Features 3. Please provide details on the financial planning, goal based planning, etc. If
not provided within the platform, what integrations are possible with
common financial planning applications (e.g., MoneyGuidePro, eMoney
Advisor)?
We integrate with financial planning providers to onboard new clients as
they accept the proposals from the advisor. We also have business logic
in our Onboarding Solution that will drive behavior based on financial and
personal criteria.
Platform Features 4. What other calculators or tools are available?
The rules engine has functionality to support all of the basic mathematical
functions – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Using our
rules engine in conjunction with data points we collect, we can handle
any calculation required. Some examples of existing calculations include,
but are not limited to; Available Funds (i.e. Disbursement Calculator), Risk
Profile Scoring, Calculate current age, Fee Calculators.
Platform Features 5. Do you have a portal available to end investors? If so, please describe its
functionality.
We are typically imbedded within an advisor and/or client-facing portal,
since we are only one part of the functionality offered to the target
audience. We have not been asked to build the portal itself, but have
many options for imbedding and/or interacting via API with existing
portals.

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Platform Features 6. Do you have a dashboard available to advisors? If so, please describe
its functionality.
The IFS platform has a dashboard that is at both the advisor and
enterprise level. The dashboard reports the following information:
1. Service Request Dashboard – divides all the service requests
into: incomplete, opened today, closed today, due today, and
overdue service requests.
2. Workflow Task Dashboard – divides all the service requests into:
incomplete, added today, completed today, due today, and
overdue tasks.
3. Volume Dashboard – measures the volumes of service requests
that are closed, incomplete, opened, overdue, or any
combination of the four
4. Missing Documents – displays a list of all service requests that
are waiting for documents to be attached to them before they
can be completed.
Please note: The dashboard information is generally sent to a
client’s Enterprise Dashboard (proprietary).
Platform Features 7. Do you have a version of your solution developed as a smartphone app? If
so, please describe.
We do not have a dedicated smartphone app, although our platform has
a responsive user interface, optimized for use on all device types.

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Proposal
Requirement Category Description of Requirement
Number
8.7 Configuration and 1. Does your system support a hierarchy for configuration and entitlements?
Entitlement Configurations and entitlements would flow from upper levels down to
Hierarchy lower levels. For example, Advisor Group home office would be the top
level, OSJ’s below and additional levels of offices and individual advisors
below that.
Each user configured on the platform is associated with a role (financial
advisor, back office operations, OSJ, etc) The role is associated with a
number of privileges, which allow access and visibility to screens, menu
choices, visibility, etc. This allows more flexibility than a hierarchy, since
each role can include the specific privileges necessary and do not rely on
“inheriting” privileges from a level above it.
Visibility to specific accounts/clients is then overlaid on these privileges,
based on rep code.
Configuration and 2. Can configurations and entitlements be uploaded in bulk from a file?
Entitlement Yes. We also support dynamic (at sign-on) credentials that drive access
Hierarchy and visibility.

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Product Deployment, Support & Training
Proposal
Requirement Category Description of Requirement
Number
9.1 Software 1. Please provide the list of Internet browsers and versions that are
Environment supported.
-Internet Explorer 10+
-Google Chrome
-Firefox ESR+
-Safari 9+
Software 2. Does your solution require Java to be installed on the desktop? If so, what
Environment version?
No, Java does not need to be installed on the desktop.
Software 3. Is Adobe required for your forms solution?
Environment No, Adobe products are not required for form generation or electronic
signature. IFS does generate forms in PDF format, so a PDF viewer is
required when viewing forms in the browser.
Software 4. What devices is your solution currently optimized for? Desktop/Laptop,
Environment Tablet, Mobile Phone?
Our platform has a responsive UI and is optimized for use on all device
types including desktop/laptop, tablet and mobile phone.

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Proposal
Requirement Category Description of Requirement
Number
9.2 Product 1. Describe the implementation expertise and assistance your organization
Deployment will provide.
a. Include a description of your organization’s staffing model to
assist with transition, including required training.
IFS anticipates providing professional services for the complete
installation, customization, configuration and deployment of the
IFS Automation Platform and Onboarding Solution.

IFS will provide a team comprised of process (some Lean Six


Sigma and Agile certified) and onboarding subject matter
experts to engage in a Joint Application Design (JAD) process for
the initial solution design. This team will be supplemented as
required with technology experts to address system integration
and technical requirements (typically after the JAD session(s).

Once the solution design is complete and the project


implementation effort is launched, IFS will provide a skilled
Project Management resource to manage the engagement,
business analysts for application design implementations and
training, and technical resources for any platform changes and
systems integration/interface requirements.

Throughout the engagement, IFS also provides active executive


involvement to the project(s) for oversight, escalation and
overall relationship management.

b. Identify partners you work with or will work with during the
transition.
None are anticipated for this project.
Project 2. Describe the implementation process provided by your company, i.e.
management and typical interactions, data conversion, planning services, training, dedicated
implementation staff – and what are the additional costs for each? Provide a timeline and
an implementation plan template. Identify those factors that have the
greatest impact on the implementation timeline.

Below is a sample of our implementation process. We utilize a modern


solution delivery methodology that combines the best of agile and
iterative delivery methodologies. A specific plan for your project,
including timeline and additional costs would be determined after the
initial JAD session.

Initial requirements / JAD session


Iterative build process (client users will have access to IFS Dev environment to
provide hands-on feedback - could also include deployment to client DEV
environment)
Deploy to SIT
Feedback / Update loop
Deploy #2 to SIT
Deploy to UAT

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Final feedback / update loop (if needed)
Deploy #2 to UAT (if needed)
Staging
Prod

We believe that the following tenets are critical to overall project success:
• The Automation 80% Rule
• Manage Scope Effectively
• Assign the Right Project Sponsor

Project 3. Describe what is required of Advisor Group staff during implementation


management and and thereafter.
implementation The client involvement post-implementation can look a lot of different
ways. The primary driver is how much ongoing configuration the client
would like to take on after the application goes to production. Best
practice dictates that the client create a small, well trained, team (2 -5
people) that can do a lot of the routine upkeep and small enhancements.
Project 4. Can you provide a proposed project team containing both provider
management and resources, roles and responsibilities and Advisor Group resources, roles
implementation and responsibilities?
A typical project team will include the following roles and resource
composition: Client Executive Leadership (5%), Client Project/Product
Management (15%), Client Subject Matter Experts (29%), Client Testers
(15%), Client Technical Support (12%), IFS Project Management (5%), IFS
Business Analysts (25%)
Project 5. On average, what is the expected project time frame from start to finish,
management and with start defined as your firm receiving the go-ahead and finish defined as
implementation a “go live” with your software. Please include statistics showing number of
installations and durations.
Project duration is dependent on a number of factors; such as the scope
and level of customization required, complexity and readiness of
integration partners, and dedicated resources available for business
decisions and testing. We work closely with our firms early and often to
define the requirements, deliverables, and timelines; and then adjust as
we iterate through the project life cycle. We favor an agile methodology
where we try to have a fluid set of requirements based on business
priority, with the goal of building viable functionality often that can be
deployed as the client requires to provide tangible benefits. We have
clients that took the majority of our “template” functionality as-is and
had their first iteration of Onboarding in production within 4 months of
their start date, and we have clients that completely rearchitected their
Onboarding experience with a project that lasted 11 months.
Project 6. Explain your service level guarantees to your clients during
management and implementation. What remedies do you provide if critical dates are
implementation missed, if deliverables are unacceptable, if project overruns ensue?
All IFS services contracts are warrantied for quality workmanship covering
unacceptable deliverables for 60 days following delivery. Most IFS
projects are available as fixed bids for the portions of work fully within IFS
ability and control to deliver protecting against project overruns. Other
remedies have not been sought or needed by other IFS clients.

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Proposal
Requirement Category Description of Requirement
Number
9.3 Software 1. Describe how you manage new version/release installations and changes.
Maintenance Releases are packaged and deployed via a standard .msi installation
package. The installation process is point and click. Additionally,
configuration changes (rules, workflow, etc.) can be deployed via the web
site by a user with the proper authentication.
Software 2. How do you manage release cycles of partners you integrate with? (e. g. If
Maintenance Pershing makes changes to the API, does your platform gets tested by your
team post release?)
The responsibility lies on the Support Team to understand the changes
that are required based on integration partners, industry regulations,
etc. The Support Team could be all IFS employees, all Client employees,
or a blend. Once the changes are identified the Support Team will analyze
the changes, determine system impacts, plan the necessary changes into
the appropriate iteration/cycle, and facilitate the build and testing as part
of the normal SDLC.
Software 3. How often are new releases/upgrades deployed?
Maintenance we typically release five new versions of our software per year,
approximately every 2 months. Clients can choose when to upgrade to a
new release.
Software 4. Describe the last three software releases/upgrades. Include the date of
Maintenance the release/upgrade and a summary of its major features.

Releases 7.11, 7.12 and 7.13 are the most recent software releases that
are currently available to our customers. See below for details:

IFS Platform Version 7.13.0 (November 2017)


• Ability to run a pilot (pilot ability)
• Data encryption (questions and config entries)
• Question override table
• Deployable config entries
• DocuSign enhancements (push notifications & automated eSign flow)
• Document name updates in system
• Repeating module names added to debug
• SR Reassignments recorded in audit tables

IFS Platform Version 7.12.0 (August 2017)


• IFS Installer .NET 4.6.1 required
• Shared environment/segregation of data
• Rule tagging
• SR deployment (SR Reassignment, ID Range Overlap range)
• Additional generic mapping fields
• Shared items grids (code groups, documents and reflections)

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IFS Platform Version 7.11.0 (June 2017)
• Switching to HTTPS
• SR Deployment Management in UI
• Change reporting for SR deployment
• eSignature configuration redesign
• Customer-friendly history view
• Ability to add a snapshot of an SR page to the SR as a document
• Rule execution logging
Software 5. Describe a failure on installation / upgrade and include what changes were
Maintenance made as a result of that failure.
The most common installation failure is due to insufficient permissions on
the service account assigned to the IFS platform. Documentation has
been updated to help our customers provision service accounts with
adequate access. Keep in mind that these are on-premise installations.
Software 6. Is it mandatory to accept new releases/updates or can new releases be
Maintenance refused or delayed?
No, clients can choose when to upgrade to a new release.
Software 7. If a release / upgrade is refused or delayed, how many versions of the
Maintenance application continue to receive technical support?
While IFS prefers and encourages its customers to remain within 1 major
release, and/or, within 6 minor releases of the current release, IFS has
never stopped providing technical support to any of its customers at any
time during its 15 year history regardless of the release they are on.
Software 8. Do you develop custom code specifically for customers? If so, how do you
Maintenance support these customizations? How do you ensure these customizations
will work when a new version of software is released?
No, we rarely develop custom code for a customer. If custom code is
required, it is isolated to a customer-specific assembly, which is called via
reflection from the IFS platform. Customization is achieved through
configuration of rules, workflow, etc., which are just database data.
Software 9. Describe the process for implementing customer requests into your
Maintenance standard product.
The IFS platform was built for the purpose of solving real-world problems
and is continually enhanced as a result of customer feedback. IFS
encourages clients to request and suggest updates and enhancements to
our standard product. We work closely with our entire client base to
determine prioritization of specific features, as well as work with
individual clients when unique requests arise. Features are set in advance
of each new release based on this prioritization and collaboration.

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Proposal
Requirement Category Description of Requirement
Number
9.4 System Integration 1. Describe the capabilities to support integration (API or Web Service)
Questions with other component systems as part of the initial implementation or
to support future business needs.
IFS interfaces include, but are not limited to: REST Web API, SOAP Web
services, SQL, Flat files, XML, JSON Files, Reports

Invoked: real-time, background, or batch

Typical interfaces: CRMs, Registration/Licensing, Compliance/Risk


management services, legacy systems, enterprise BPMs, document
imaging platforms, back office platforms, custodians, client’s
proprietary advisor workstations, client’s proprietary client portal.

System Integration 2. Does the platform support a customer to make API calls? How much
Questions data is available via API calls? Please summarize future development
plans in this area.
Yes, the IFS platform does allow customers to make API calls. API calls
are defined in the IFS Reflection Editor, using XML. Calls can be made
to a variety of external sources including REST web services, SOAP web
services, database queries and stored procedures. IFS is committed to
supporting all modern API technologies and has a team dedicated to
API integration.

IFS also exposes a standards-compliant REST API that utilizes OAuth2


authentication and OData4 ISO standards. In addition, all API
documentation is available online and deployed with the IFS Web
application. The documentation includes API example calls
implemented using the Postman REST client.

All service request and workflow data available via the traditional UI is
also available via the IFS API. Core Rule Engine functionality can be
executed for creating and updating Service Requests and
Workflows. Data is returned in JSON format, with standard JSON
representations defined in our online documentation and
examples. Integration against external web services via REST and SOAP
can be defined via XML reflections, with no additional coding
required. Integration with recordkeeping systems, custom client
databases, and formatted file feeds are also supported without
requiring any additional coding. All externally integrated data can be
accessed through the IFS API.

IFS API is a foundational architectural layer used for all external data
integration, as well as supporting newer UI frameworks such as Angular
and React. Future plans include pushing server side workflow events to
connected clients, and ongoing expansion of API core functionality,
adding more IFS Platform capabilities. IFS is committed to supporting
all modern API technologies and has a team dedicated to API
integration.

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System Integration 3. Can you verify that *all* API unit calls are both a) authenticated (by
Questions managed key or OAuth) and b) encrypted (by 256-bit or greater
encryption)?
All IFS API calls require OAuth2 authentication, and all IFS API calls are
required to be over HTTPS unless explicitly over-ridden in the web
config. That is necessary when behind a load balancer and the load
balancer is handling the SSL encryption.
System Integration 4. Describe the capabilities to support a daily raw data export for
Questions consumption into Advisor Group systems and file transfer, which meets
the security standards listed above.
IFS does support file import and export via the IFS Maintenance job
scheduler. Additionally, customers have direct access to the IFS
Database for data export, which is more commonly used.
System Integration 5. Do you currently support separate Development and Test regions that
Questions can be integrated with AG systems?
For on-premise installations, IFS will help a typical client establish UAT,
SIT and a production environment.
System Integration 6. Describe your expectations from Advisor Group to deploy/manage
Questions releases in Prod and Non-Prod environments? (e.g. Access to network or
expectation from IT operations to deploy etc)
IFS makes it easy for our clients to deploy new releases in prod and
non-prod environments. Each IFS release is packaged into a point-and-
click .msi installer. The installation package must be downloaded to
each application server and run from the server by a user with access
to the IFS directories. Additionally, there is a database update step to
the installer that must be run by a user that has dbo rights to the IFS
database (this can all be done in one step if a user has both directory
access and database access).
System Integration 7. Please provide appropriate documentation to exhibit how your system
Questions uniquely identifies individuals and accounts to facilitate proper updating
of books and records.
Depending on the indexing on the books and records system, we will
store the required data elements with each request and provide an
interface to the SOR. There are 13 data elements that are available in
addition to name and account number that are available with each
request on the primary table and unlimited fields available on a linked
table to store unique identifiers.
System Integration 8. Do you support SAML 2.0 for user authentication?
Questions API can be authenticated using the same SAML 2.0 capabilities that our
Web application utilizes.
System Integration 9. Are we able to manipulate field labels and help text to align with our
Questions terminology?
Yes, the ability to customize these features is a key benefit of our
platform.
System Integration 10. Are we able to define rules/logic to support conditional logic on the
Questions fields – standard and custom? (e.g. Employer info – additional fields - are
needed if employment status is Employed)
Yes, our platform is totally customizable and features a robust rules
engine for this type of logic.

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System Integration 11. Does your data store support any data queries (reporting) or should that
Questions requirement be supported outside of your core platform?
Our platform provides some canned reports and dashboards that
leverage pre-determined search criteria to extract data and provide
in .PDF or Excel. These reports are predominantly geared towards
employee productivity, service request metrics, user security, and SLA
reporting. In addition, we have search features that allow you to query
Service Request and/or Workflow Task data based on a number of
standard criteria to provide your own custom extract. Last, many firms
also use their Database Administration team to develop custom SQL
queries to mine specific data that is not supported in the canned
reports or will integrate some kind of Report Writer tool to query the
source SQL data.
System Integration 12. Does the platform offer features to turn off rules for specific data set?
Questions E.g. Data imported into the platform may violate rules built in the
platform but users should be able to “complete” data to abide by the
standard rules
Yes, the rules engine is dynamically applied, so based on the available
data such as account type, user role, custodian, etc., the appropriate
rules are applied or skipped.
System Integration 13. Do we have the ability to change data types and sizes within the
Questions product?
Yes
System Integration 14. With which 3rd party technologies are you currently able to support
Questions integration?
IFS leverages an open architecture to support integration with any
vendor or partner that helps our clients meet their business needs.
Below is a sample list of current integration partners:

DocuSign, Electronic Signature


SIGNiX, Electronic Signature
LexisNexis, Owner Validation (OFAC/KYC)
United States Postal Service, Address Validation
Thomson Reuters, Brokerage Processing
Smarty Streets, Address Validation
GhostDraft, Document Creation/Management
GIACT, Bank Authentication
Equifax, Credit
Salesforce, CRM
Redtail, CRM
Microsoft Dynamics, CRM
DTCC, Insurance & Retirement Services
PriceMetrix, Investments Data/Practice Management
Talisys, Brokerage Processing
FIS, Brokerage Processing
Envestnet, Managed Account Platform
Pershing, Brokerage Processing
NFS, Brokerage Processing

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Proposal
Requirement Category Description of Requirement
Number
9.5 System Support 1. Please provide an overview of the client support team. About how many
and Training employees are on the Service team?
The IFS Client Support Team is comprised of 18 full time employees and 2
contractors. These individuals have varied roles including project
management, implementation support, client services, support and
training. You will have a dedicated staff member assigned at the start of
your project. This team member will have at least three years of platform
and industry experience, and will lead a larger team to support your
project.
System Support 2. Will Advisor Group have dedicated support staff? If so, how many? Where
and Training will they be located and what hours will they be available?
Yes, Advisor Group will have a team assigned to their project, consisting
of a Project Manager, Business Analysts and Support Staff. Exact team
size will be determined upon completion of Statement of Work. The
support team will be located in our Davidson, NC, headquarters. See
Customer Support Guidelines for additional information on availability.
System Support 3. How are support tickets created, managed, and reported on?
and Training IFS utilizes Pivotal Tracker, an on-line change management and
development tool to assist in collecting, prioritizing, scheduling, and
tracking both requests for new functionality, and system bugs that
require fixes. Using Pivotal Tracker (PT) allows for better management of
IFS development activities while providing clear visibility into projects for
the entire project team, including the client.
System Support 4. What is the name of the contact person or group for support including
and Training weekends and evenings?
Please see the Customer Support Guidelines, provided with the
Supporting Documents.
System Support 5. Please provide a proposed SLA for support issues.
and Training Please see the Customer Support Guidelines.

System Support 6. Please provide a proposed support escalation procedure.


and Training Please see the Customer Support Guidelines.

System Support 7. Describe your software maintenance and support options. Are there
and Training options for standard, premium, platinum, etc. support?
Maintenance services are available for the licensed product and are set in
the initial term. Following the initial term, maintenance services are
available for additional purchase.

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System Support 8. For each support option, provide the following information:
and Training
a. Days/hours that support is available
b. Process for after-hour and holiday support
c. Issue “prioritization” process
d. Remedies/Penalties if Service Levels are violated

Please see the Customer Support Guidelines


System Support 9. Describe your typical training methodology for an implementation similar
and Training to that described in this RFP.
For initial implementation, we would expect to be onsite for a defined
period of time (e.g. one week) to assist with the implementation process
and subsequent troubleshooting. See below response for information
about ongoing training offerings.
System Support 10. Do you provide on-site training, train-the-trainer options, classroom
and Training training, etc.?
IFS offers a variety of training options. In addition to initial onsite training,
we offer thorough training and education resources in the form of online
documentation and resources. Additionally, we offer an annual client
training. This training is hands-on, classroom-style training and is
designed to help analysts master their proficiency in the IFS platform. We
are committed to offering the best training for your unique needs.
System Support 11. Is there currently an active User Group for the product? Is it independent
and Training of the vendor or sponsored? Do they play an active role in roadmap
development?
Yes, we have an annual in-person User Group meeting for all IFS clients.
We also host bi-monthly virtual user group meetings via webinar. The
objectives of these are:
• Provide an open forum to discuss product & platform updates and
roadmap development
• Collaborate with other IFS users and learn how to make the most of
your IFS solution
• Discover new ideas to better serve your clients using technology and
best practices
• Gain practical insights for keeping pace with evolving regulations,
technology and client service advancements
• Find better business efficiencies through better practice
management, innovative solutions and new offerings

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Proposal
Requirement Category Description of Requirement
Number
9.6 System Availability 1. Describe the facilities in which the solution will be hosted. Include details about
/Other SLAs environmental controls, high availability, connectivity and capacity
On-premise environment. Not applicable.
System Availability 2. Describe the proactive monitoring and alerting services for both service
/Other SLAs interruptions and maintenance activities.
On-premise environment. Not applicable.
System Availability 3. Advisor Group prefers to have Service Level Agreements in its contracts with
/Other SLAs key vendors. Will you agree to outline SLAs in the contract-- these SLAs will
have penalties associated for non-performance?
On-premise environment. Not applicable.
System Availability 4. Please provide a proposed SLA for system availability.
/Other SLAs On-premise environment. Not applicable.
System Availability 5. Are you accustomed to tying any compensation to performance? Please
/Other SLAs describe.
No, this has not been requested of us to date.
System Availability 6. Is there a disaster recovery strategy in place? How frequently is it tested?
/Other SLAs Yes, typically the disaster recovery plan is tested annually or when there has
been a significant change in systems or support personnel.

CONCLUSION
Thank you for reviewing our response to your RFP for a unified account opening experience, digitization of account
opening, funding, and electronic signature, and ongoing account maintenance. We are confident that IFS would be a
great partner for Advisor Group in achieving the project’s mission to provide a simple, easy-to-use digital user
experience that meets and exceeds the expectations and needs of Advisors and Clients. Should you have any
questions after reviewing this proposal, please contact:

TRAVIS CHAMPION
IFS, Managing Director
travis.champion@ifsautomation.com
980-220-2250

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