New York, NY - April 14, 2009 - To meet the complex needs of its ultra-high-net-worth investor members, the Institute for Private Investors (IPI) worked with DPCI, an integrated technology firm, to completely rethink its Website, Memberlink®, to create a community meeting place.
DPCI, a provider of integrated technology solutions for organizations that need to publish content to Web, print and mobile channels, announced today that it had teamed up with IPI, a private membership organization, to design and deploy a new interactive Website for its member community. This initiative was driven by IPI's desire to move away from an email-based listserv experience by giving its members a more sophisticated way to access information and each other via a virtual community. To meet its goals, IPI retained DPCI as a technology partner to implement, test and deploy the new renovated Website, Memberlink®, powered by Drupal's Web Content Management System.
Since its founding in 1991, IPI has provided innovative educational and networking resources to families with substantial assets - along with their financial advisors - all within a safe harbor for the confidential exchange of information. To extend its reach without compromising the benefits that current members enjoy, IPI sought to build a flexible, modular Website to replace the existing Memberlink® site with a customized experience based on membership type and unique, member-driven interests.
DPCI and IPI undertook development of the new Website in a way that respected the varied needs of IPI's current private investor members. Failure to service this "core" and to preserve its 90% membership renewal rate would risk compromising IPI's mission and damage its safe harbor tradition. Complex user roles, access levels and preferences were created and tested meticulously to ensure that highly confidential information and conversations would be visible only to those who should have access.
By customizing Drupal, DPCI provided a range of tools to allow IPI and its members to create, comment and search for content throughout the many secure areas of the site. These tools included enhanced community features such as custom private profiles and alert preferences, peer networking through a "Request for Connection," private messaging, anonymous conversations, event registration and online access to resources such as event handouts and recordings.
IPI founder & CEO Charlotte Beyer believes, "The integration of our online community with the educational content, all in one place, was a big step forward for IPI. The concept of community has been strengthened through Memberlink®. Still, any community must be both virtual and real, and as Harvard economist Edward Glaeser puts it, ‘Communications technology and face-to-face interactions are complements like salt and pepper, not substitutes like butter and margarine.'"
With Memberlink® private investors can post questions and initiate conversations both on the secure, password-protected site and through email from their PDA's. These conversations can be "investor only," eliciting advice from peers, or flagged as "Ask an Advisor," alerting the 197 Advisor Member and Leaders Council firms to respond. Additionally, DPCI developed the Website to be Blackberry-compatible, allowing members to access Memberlink® on the go.
With the new Drupal-based Web Content Management System in place, IPI can deliver its programming across multiple media channels, and members can take advantage of a clean and flexible Website that offers peer networking, investor conversations, private messaging and restricted channels based on membership levels. The stronger and improved platform is designed to provide IPI staff with tools to easily, and inexpensively, customize elements of the site.
"Compared to the previous listserv, the new Drupal Web Content Management System provides IPI with the tools to publish a wide range of information and offers significantly more functionality to allow members to communicate with their peers," explained Tracy Gardner, Vice President Client Services at DPCI. "We believe this new community-driven site will strengthen the IPI brand, enhance the membership experience and give IPI a powerful platform to accommodate future business objectives."
With a new and improved Website, IPI is able to deepen the ties within and between its parallel membership communities: advisors and private investors. Furthermore, it can now deliver an enhanced membership offering to $30 million+ households in the U.S. and globally over the coming years.
DPCI is an interactive technology agency that delivers integrated content management solutions for organizations that need to publish content to Web, print, mobile and e-reader devices. DPCI helps customers design and implement Web Content Management Systems, Digital Asset Management, Online Collaboration Software, Multi-Channel Systems, Workflow Management solutions, and recently, Semantic technologies. DPCI serves customers throughout the United States, including the United Nations, ESPN, Mitre, McGraw-Hill Education, Raymond Corporation, and Royal Caribbean Inc.
DPCI Public Relations
IPI is a private membership organization founded in 1991 that provides non-commercial investor education and an online community to 1,200 ultra-high-net-worth investors from 18 countries and 40 U.S. states. Most investor members join as families, and 60 new families joined in 2008. Membership dues and educational fees are IPI's only revenue source. IPI does not offer investment products or advice.
For ten years IPI has collaborated with The Wharton School on a program in Private Wealth Management - the first in the country. To date, 490 investors from 29 countries are alumni of the five-day program, which is offered twice a year. Last August, IPI launched a parallel program at Stanford with a similarly rigorous curriculum that attracted 44 investors from 8 countries.