PrimeVest Financial Services, a third-party marketing firm based in St. Cloud, Minn., has launched a new tool to help banks and credit unions assess how their investment programs stack up against those of their competitors.

The online evaluation tool - dubbed the Program Optimizer - analyzes program data against industry averages and best practices drawn from more than 2,800 financial institutions as compiled by Kehrer/LIMRA since 2010, according to PrimeVest.

Within 15 to 20 seconds, users of the online calculator have a "quick snapshot of where they sit on the continuum of performance," Per Berger, PrimeVest's vice president for marketing, said in an interview. Some are performing optimally as an "Olympic gold medalist," while others are operating below performance, he said. The new tool, he added, tells banks and credit unions at what level they should be producing, given their size.

"The beauty of our Program Optimizer is that it's quick and easy to use, but it provides tangible feedback based on real data and models from investment programs across the financial institution channel," Catherine Bonneau, president and CEO of PrimeVest, said in a statement.

For now, the tool assesses the performance level of existing programs, but within a week, when the tool enters Phase 2, it will help banks without investment programs calculate how much estimated revenue an investment program could bring to their institutions, Berger said.

Most banks and credit unions (75%) do not have investment programs, Berger noted.

The new tool is the latest in PrimeVest's "Guide to Growth" series. In May, the company released a report that concluded the average bank advisor covered too large a territory, thereby limiting the advisor's per household revenue potential. Banks and credit unions, on average, deployed one advisor for every 16,188 client households. The ideal coverage ratio to maximize revenue is 7,762 households per advisor, according to the research.

To use PrimeVest's new Program Optimizer, click here.