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Waddell & Reed Partners with BOK Financial

Zacks Equity Research

Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. (WDR), the Kansas based financial planner and investment manager, recently entered into a partnership with BOK Financial Corporation (BOKF) to enhance its existing client services. The collaboration will help Waddell & Reed access the diverse trust solutions offered by BOK Financial.

According to the deal, approximately 130 trust administrative officers of BOK Financial, with an average of 20 years of experience in trust service, will lend their acumen to Waddell & Reed’s advisory services.

Waddell & Reed’s clients will now enjoy additional objective trust solutions benefits in the form of personal trusts, charitable and philanthropic trust administration, special needs trusts, court created trusts, account settlement and administration, executor or co-executor management and probate management. Therefore, the partnership is expected to strengthen the company-client relationship.

We continue to see Waddell & Reed’s consistent endeavors to improve its advisory segment. Over the months, the company has also invested in the advisory channel by providing its advisors adequate training and equipping them with advanced technology. Going forward, we expect such initiatives to drive growth in revenues and assets under management (:AUM).

Moreover, Waddell & Reed’s third-quarter 2013 earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Results were driven by top-line growth, partially offset by higher operating expenses. Further, as of Sep 30, 2013, AUM totaled $113.7 billion, up 17.1% from $94.8 billion as of Sep 30, 2012.

Currently, Waddell & Reed carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and BOK Financial carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some investment managers worth consideration include GAMCO Investors, Inc. (GBL) and Affiliated Managers Group Inc. (AMG). While GAMCO Investors carry the same Zacks Rank as Waddell & Reed, Affiliated Managers has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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