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Mass Upload Application Process for Advisors and Brokers

Lesson 18 of 18
Duration 10:19
Level Beginner
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Professional Advisors and Introducing Brokers can use IBKR’s Mass Upload application process to simultaneously migrate a large number of accounts to IBKR. Mass Upload streamlines the application process for both the advisor or broker, and their clients.

Study Notes:

Intro to the Mass Upload Application Process for Advisors and Brokers

The Mass Upload application process provides a free solution for Professional Advisors and Introducing Brokers looking to migrate a large number of accounts to IBKR simultaneously. Mass upload both streamlines the advisor or broker’s process for submitting their client applications as well as the client’s process for completing the required IBKR Application steps.

Benefits of the application Mass Upload Process:

Mass upload allows the advisor/broker to submit application data via easy-to-use excel spreadsheets, including ACATS funding instruction. The Sales Engineering team will be the dedicated point of contact to assist the advisor/broker throughout the mass upload process, from submitting client application data to getting client accounts open and funded.

Initiating the Mass Upload Process

Mass Upload is available to Professional Advisor and Introducing Brokers associated with any IB entity or region.  To keep the process efficient, we look for a minimum of 20 accounts per account type to be submitted in each workbook – again making this the ideal process for larger migrations. 

To get started, a broker/advisor will need to send an email request to their sales representative or to our Sales Engineering team. A member of our team will reach out to schedule an introductory call.  This call will cover an overview of the mass upload workflow, including a review of each step of the mass upload process, how to complete the workbooks properly, and processing times. Sales Engineering will also gather any background information such as target migration dates, incoming AUM, broker/advisor client details – COLR, current broker, what assets are being transferred, etc. 

Once the initial call is scheduled with the advisor/broker, Sales Engineering will reach out with a few preemptive questions to learn more about the anticipated migration.  This includes a breakdown of account types that are expected, funding method, any applicable deadlines, or other priority information.

Mass Upload Workbooks

Excel workbooks are provided to the advisor/broker to submit their clients’ application data.  

Note – We offer two options for Individual/Joint/IRA accounts. 

  • Our Additional Accounts Workbook will allow the FA/Broker to create multiple accounts for the same account owner under a single username/password. 
  • Separate workbooks can also be provided for each account type if the FA/Broker prefers to create separate login credentials for each of their accounts. 
  • Trusts and Organization accounts will each have unique workbooks, resulting in separate login credentials created for each account.
  • Linking and Householding features are available in the Advisor/Broker portal to consolidate client account credentials where eligible.

Workbooks have been configured with helpful features to assist the advisor/broker with completing the required data. Such features include:

  • Sticky notes to help translate the IBKR application terminology.
  • Data validation/drop down menus where defined/expected values must be entered.
  • Data formatting examples at the top of each worksheet.
  • Indicator as to values required for account approval.

IBKR also provides references alongside the mass upload workbooks and Sales Engineering will be available via phone or email to assist with any questions. 

How long is the Mass Upload Process?

SE will communicate with the Advisor/Broker to provide a clear understanding of expected processing times for each step of the mass upload process. 

  • Accounts are uploaded/created within 1-2 days following the receipt of workbooks that are in good order.
  • The Advisor/Broker will work within their own timeline to have clients complete the necessary online application steps.
  • Completed applications are submitted to NewAccounts review/approval queue which can run 1-4 business days depending on account type. For example, ORGs may take slightly longer to complete the necessary Due Diligence steps.
  • Once accounts are open, the ACATS instruction (if provided) is executed the following business day. ACATS have a processing time of 4-8 business days.
  • SE can provide a weekly account status report to assist advisors/brokers with tracking account open/funded status.

Application Data Collected

The mass upload workbooks will collect all information a client would typically provide during the manual account application. This includes all registration details (for example, Account Holder, Contact Details, Tax Info, Employment and Financial Info). We also collect the account configuration details, such as Acct Type, margin type, objectives, Trading Permissions, SYEP Participation election, and Advisor Fee Schedules.

Uploading with Limited Data

It is common that an advisor/broker does not have the volume of data for each client that we do require in the upload. Please note that there are exceptions that can be made to upload accounts with certain fields of data incomplete. The sub acct client would then be required to provide this information when completing the online application steps. 

Once an advisor has completed the workbooks, they will transfer the files via an agreed upon secured method and SE will create the accounts. 

Online Application Steps

Once accounts are created, SE will provide the advisor with a password protected spreadsheet that includes Acct Names, Acct Numbers, User ID, and a Temporary Password.  The advisor/broker will then need to provide these account details to their client and assist with completing the online steps. 

Advisor/Broker may provide credentials to clients via email (for which we provide a suggested template), in person, or verbally. This allows the advisor/broker to control the timeline of their migration and work with each of their clients in a way that best suits the client’s needs.

To be clear, IBKR does not communicate account credentials to the sub acct client directly.

The online application steps for the sub client will include setting a permanent password, verifying their email address, confirming the uploaded account details, and signing relevant agreements and disclosures. We can provide the advisor/broker with documentation to assist with online steps as needed including sample screenshots.

The applicant will also have an opportunity to upload any supporting documentation required for account approval directly on the Account Status page at the end of the application. 

  • For individual type accounts his could include POI, POA, Trustee Certifications Forms, Spousal Consent forms. 
  • For ORGs this could include Proof of Existence, Proof of Principal Place of Business, POA to open account, Proof of Ability to Trade on Margin.

Alternatively, the advisor/broker may assist with this step by submitting documents on behalf of the client through the message center in portal by creating a web ticket.

Some helpful notes to be aware of

Sales Engineering will require a consolidated asset list for review of all incoming positions. This list will be vetted ahead of the upload to identify any positions that may cause ACATS transfers to reject. A spreadsheet with the position identifiers (symbol/CUSIP/ISIN) and a description of the position is sufficient for review.

If the advisor/broker has configured white branding ahead of the upload, client applications will reflect the firm’s white branding during the online steps.  White Branding is configured on the master directly in Portal. Sales Engineering can assist with review and completion of these configurations ahead of the mass upload.

A common request is the option to convert an uploaded application to a semi-electronic for clients who would be better assisted with a paper application. This option is not available at this time, but has been discussed as a potential enhancement down the road.  Advisors/Brokers will need to complete semi-electronic applications via the Portal in these circumstances.

Sales Engineering is the primary point of contact for all Mass Upload inquiries. However, it is best practice to ensure the advisor/broker is receiving training from our Onboarding team in parallel with the mass upload process. An understanding of how to navigate the Portal Contacts menu, pending items, and transaction history page will allow the advisor/broker to manage their migration seamlessly.  

To schedule Onboarding training advisor/broker should reach out to their sales representative or

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Disclosure: Interactive Brokers

The analysis in this material is provided for information only and is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security. To the extent that this material discusses general market activity, industry or sector trends or other broad-based economic or political conditions, it should not be construed as research or investment advice. To the extent that it includes references to specific securities, commodities, currencies, or other instruments, those references do not constitute a recommendation by IBKR to buy, sell or hold such investments. This material does not and is not intended to take into account the particular financial conditions, investment objectives or requirements of individual customers. Before acting on this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interactive Brokers, its affiliates, or its employees.

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