WEEKLY WRAP: Asgard and BT Wrap Platforms – supporting advisers in their FoFA obligations

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Asgard and BT Wrap Platforms – supporting advisers in their FoFA obligations

The 2012 Investment Trends Report indicated 4 out of 5 advisers would like platforms to help them with implementing the FoFA changes.

Kelly Power, head of platforms at BT Financial Group, said the group responded to adviser needs and reduced the administrative burden of managing FDSs, opt-out and conflicted remuneration obligations.

“The FoFA reforms are broad and significant and we have worked with dealer groups and advisers to design simple, flexible solutions to support them in their compliance obligations,” Power said.

Wrap Desktop and AdviserNET have been updated to allow advisers to:

  • Produce and track FDSs via the platform, export relevant fee information directly when creating statements and the ability to print out on the spot;
  • Use the new tracking tool to manage fee disclosure dates, including agreement start dates and anniversary dates;
  • Set up email reminders so there is less chance of forgetting to send an FDS;
  • Save time by using bulk client updates features and format bulk statements using tools and templates;
  • Track the opt-out status via the platform; and
  • Automatically dial down the ongoing advice fees if a client opts-out and set the date on which this occurs.

BT has also altered its processes to help advisers be compliant whereby an asset-based fee cannot be charged where additional or new borrowings are used by geared clients to purchase a financial product after 1 July, 2013.

AMP selects Tyndall Australian Bond Fund

AMP has added the Tyndall Australian Bond Fund to its flagship platform, North.

The Tyndall Australian Bond Fund is a diversified fixed interest fund designed to primarily provide a stable income with potential for capital growth.

Matt Russell, head of sales and marketing at Tyndall AM, said the addition of the Tyndall Australian Bond Fund to the platform shows there is continuing high demand for quality fixed income products.

“We are still seeing a great deal of interest in our fixed income products, which we believe indicates a better understanding amongst investors of the importance of a balanced, diversified portfolio, rather than one that follows trends in markets.

“Fixed income plays a critical role in providing the stable, solid returns that investors require from a balanced portfolio that also contains growth assets.

“Our fund is already listed on most platforms and making it available to the large number of AMP advisers dramatically increases its accessibility,” Russell said.

REST Industry Super awarded Best Fund: Investments by Chant West

REST Industry Super has been named the Best Fund: Investments at the inaugural Chant West / Conexus Financial Super Fund Awards in Sydney. The REST Core Strategy option returned 7.87 per cent per annum over the 10 years to 30 April 2013.

As well as taking out the award for Best Fund: Investments, REST was also a short-listed finalist in the Super Fund of the Year category, and a finalist in the Best Fund: Member Services, and Pension Fund of the Year categories.

REST Industry Super CEO Damian Hill said: “We are extremely proud to have been recognised by such highly respected organisations as Chant West and Conexus Financial for the investment governance and management of our products. Receiving awards such as this, combined with our continuing strong performance, demonstrates the strength of REST’s investment philosophy and approach as well as the value added to our members.

Merger of AUI property fund approved by investors

Investors in Australian Unity Investments’ (AUI) Second Industrial Trust (SIT) have voted in favour to merge with AUI’s Office Property Fund (OPF) at a meeting of investors in Melbourne.

The proposal to merge the two funds was developed by AUI, creating a $360 million property fund holding commercial properties in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth. 

Mark Pratt, AUI’s head of property, mortgage and capital markets, said investors strongly supported the proposal, with 89.8 per cent voting in favour.

“Australian Unity Funds Management, as the responsible entity, developed the proposal because it believes a merger of the two funds is in the best interests of SIT investors, as well as the existing investors in OPF.

“SIT was a closed-end syndicate that was due to terminate in June 2014. Through the merger we are providing investors an opportunity to maintain their exposure to quality commercial property investments, better diversify their property exposure, and have the opportunity to defer capital gains tax (CGT) on their investment.”

The Term Deposit Shop agrees to equity position

The PCM Board was pleased to inform shareholders and AIOFP members that The Term Deposit Shop  [TTDS] has agreed to an equity position in their group for supporters subject to meeting production hurdles. They have allocated up to 10% of their capital based on $500 million of FUA. The equity position will be allocated to shareholders and calculated on their support of the product.

This arrangement complements the culture of PCM where the AIOFP believe all clients monies should be directed into wholesale priced products where the client gets a better fee deal and the adviser has equity and/or control.

TTDS is all about getting the best term deposit rate for your client online, earning a margin to support your practice and keeping your clients away from the front door of the Institutions.


Affinia makes senior appointment

New national dealer group Affinia has made another senior appointment as it expands its footprint in the risk advice market in Australia.

Sitparan Gnanendran has been appointed Affinia’s new National Manager, Advice, and brings extensive experience and skills to the specialist life insurance advice dealer group.

Head of Affinia, Craig Parker said: “This position will play a significant role in the ongoing evolution of our licensee as we strive to be the licensee of choice for specialist risk professionals in the country.

“Since launch, we have enjoyed much interest in our offering. I’m personally proud of how our network is not only growing but the voice our advisers are having in our evolution. They see value to what we supply, and this new role continues the value-add we offer advisers.”

Gnanendran joins Affinia from AMP where he was Manager, Risk Research, a role he held for 6 year.

As National Manager, Advice, he will be the technical risk 'go to' person for the Affinia network on all matters across our approved product list (APL) in relation to claims, technical product advice, underwriting and the overall advice process.

New appointments at Tyndall AM

Tyndall AM has made two appointments to further enhance the quality and breadth of its compliance, operations and services it provides.

Suzanne Bentley has been appointed operations manager. Bentley has more than 15 years’ experience in custody and fund administration, including roles at State Street and Chase Manhattan Bank.  This experience included responsibility for unit pricing, tax, fund accounting, performance analytics, relationship management and registry. 

Her operations management role at Tyndall will include continued process enhancement as well as managing the service delivery from Tyndall’s custodian and registry partners.

In addition, Rosalind Norton has been appointed risk and compliance analyst.  Prior to joining Tyndall AM, Norton worked with privately-owned financial institution Brown Brothers Harriman in Ireland as compliance and trustee representative, responsible for conducting portfolio compliance reviews of fund prospectus and regulatory requirements. She holds a masters degree in finance and capital markets and a bachelor degree (honours) in international business and languages from Dublin City University.

At Tyndall, Norton will be responsible for managing day-to-day assurance and compliance activities for the Tyndall investment teams in both Australia and New Zealand.

Bravura Solutions strengthens its team with key pre-sales appointment

Bravura Solutions Limited (Bravura) is pleased to announce the appointment of Darrell Prins as head of Pre-Sales, Asia Pacific, based in Bravura’s Sydney head office.

Reporting to Roland Slee, managing director APAC, Prins will be responsible for supporting the company’s business development activities by managing the delivery of pre-sales consulting to clients and prospects in Asia Pacific. The role is focused on formulating and delivering compelling value propositions, helping customers build business cases for wealth management and insurance platform modernisation and nurturing business relationships.

Slee said: “We are delighted to welcome Darrell on board. Darrell has had a long and distinguished career in the Australian superannuation industry. His knowledge and experience make him an enormous asset for Bravura. He brings deep subject matter expertise in core systems migrations with extensive project experience, including the successful deployment of Sonata at Russell Investments (Russell).”

AMG Expands Team with Sales Appointment

Affiliated Managers Group (AMG) announced the appointment of Cameron Dickman as director, Sub-Advisory Distribution for Australia. Dickman will be responsible for retail and wholesale business development for AMG’s Affiliates. With this new position, AMG will broaden and deepen its focus in Australia, which currently combines participating Affiliates’ investment expertise with local service for institutional investors located here, as well as for the intermediaries who serve them.  This approach has been very successful with Australian and New Zealand institutions.

Dickman brings strong retail funds management marketing experience to this newly created role.  He most recently held the position of general manager, Retail at Australian Unity, and was previously head of Investment Sales at Colonial First State. He will report to Gregor Rennie, managing director and Australasian region head for AMG. 

“We are expanding our team and strengthening our presence in Australia, and Cameron’s appointment will help us get a jump start on developing new client relationships in the retail channel,” said Rennie. “Cameron’s appointment underscores our commitment to developing a broader presence in the market for our affiliates, providing exceptional client service and giving retail investors in Australia access to high-quality, return-oriented strategies from specialist boutiques. Our unique approach has been very well received by institutions in Australia and New Zealand and we believe the time is now right to extend this vision to retail investors as well.”