WEEKLY WRAP: Guardian advice partners with Zurich Australia

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Guardian advice forms strategic partnership with Zurich Australia

Guardian Advice announced that the group has formed a strategic partnership with Zurich Australia, adding strong capabilities in mobile technology solutions and social media to Guardian’s adviser offer.

The partnership aligns with Guardian’s strategy to support growth-oriented advice practices to grow their business their way, and provide high quality advice to their clients.

Zurich now becomes a sixth insurance product provider on Guardian’s Preferred Partner Panel, which also includes Asteron Life, AIA, OnePath, CommInsure and BT Life.

Guardian Advice head Simon Harris said: “I’m delighted to announce that we’ve entered into a strategic partnership with Zurich. Zurich gives Guardian another strong, industry-leading and uniquely different risk product provider to enable us to offer advisers the absolute breadth and choice in product, technology and service that they and their customers deserve.”

OneVue adds new SMA model portfolio to platform

Perpetual’s newly created and very first separately managed account (SMA) model portfolio has been added as an investment option on OneVue’s unified managed account (UMA) platform. Perpetual Investments is adding to its product suite of managed funds with the launch of an SMA in response to increasing adviser demand for model portfolio solutions.

Retail investors are increasingly interested in their managers’ portfolio decisions and will now have access to both select managed funds and customised share portfolios managed by Perpetual within a tax effective and more transparent structure.

OneVue chief executive of strategic relationships Brett Marsh expressed his delight that Perpetual had identified OneVue as an appropriate partner for taking the Perpetual SMA to market, based on OneVue’s extensive experience in this area of investing.

Marsh said SMAs are not a typical investment vehicle offered on platforms and as OneVue is one of the better known providers of the few that do, the deal with Perpetual was a real coup for OneVue, advisers and clients.

Management changes at NAB Growth Partnerships

Anthony Waldron has been appointed to lead NAB’s Growth Partnerships business as Executive General Manager, encompassing NAB’s third party mortgage businesses including NAB Broker and Advantedge.

He replaces Antony Cahill, who is moving to a new role within NAB as Executive General Manager, Digital and Direct.

John Flavell, General Manager NAB Broker Distribution, has also been promoted to a new role as Executive General Manager Wealth Advice within NAB’s Wealth business. Flavell’s replacement will be confirmed shortly.

Colonial First State creates ‘Ultimate’ wrap platform for Infocus

Colonial First State (CFS) has launched ‘Ultimate’, a full-service wrap platform for Queensland-based Infocus Wealth Management (IWM).

Designed to meet the new regulatory regime and changing needs of advisers and their clients, Ultimate was developed by CFS Custom Solutions to meet IWM’s requirement for a FoFA-compliant and competitively priced full-service wrap platform.

Colonial First State Custom Solutions General Manager Chris Stevens said he was pleased to begin this partnership with one of Australia’s leading wealth managers.

The platform consists of a superannuation and pension service as well as an investment service. Under the arrangement, CFS Custom Solutions will administer the platform and provide custody services for IWM financial planners and advisers.

Chief Executive Officer of Infocus Wealth Management Rod Bristow said: “Infocus is delighted to work with a market leader such as Colonial First State Custom Solutions to develop a platform tailored to the needs of our financial planners and clients.

William Buck named NSW wealth advisory practice of the year

The wealth advisory division of leading accounting and advisory firm William Buck has taken-out the prestigious ‘Licensee Select NSW Practice of the Year’ award.

The award, assessed by business consultancy Business Health, recognised the high level of service, client engagement, investment methodology and achievements of the William Buck Wealth Advisory team.

Wealth Advisory director for William Buck Fausto Pastro said the award was independent confirmation of the strong service offering it provided clients.

“While winning an award such as this is fantastic recognition, more important is the acknowledgement that we’re providing clients with service and advice that is among the best in the market,” he said.   

The rigorous selection process required both a written assessment outlining operating and financial metrics, followed by face-to-face interviews for shortlisted companies where the written responses were evidenced and benchmarked to best practice.

Nathan Stanton joins western pacific

SFG Australia (SFGA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Nathan Stanton to head up Western Pacific Financial Group. Western Pacific is SFGA’s affiliate licensed advice business which leverages SFGA’s infrastructure, products, services and skills to support financial advisors deliver ‘best advice’ outcomes for their clients, improve productivity and business profitability.

Stanton brings a solid understanding of financial planning with over 14 years’ experience in market leading wealth management and financial services companies. He was most recently an Executive Manager at Commonwealth Financial Planning (CFP) leading the Business Management team charged with running the dealership operation. Stanton is also a Certified Financial Planner.

Dan Powell who leads Western Pacific and SFGA’s B2B services businesses said “We are delighted to have Nathan on board to oversee the growth of the Western Pacific franchise which has a lengthy history in providing quality advice solutions for clients and growing profitable advice practices.”

As the head of Western Pacific, Stanton will be responsible for working closely with the individual practices to support the delivery of ‘best advice’ and execution of practices business plans.

LGS appoints new Chair and two new Directors

Local Government Super has announced the appointment of Bruce Miller as the chair of its board, replacing John Beacroft following his two-year term. 

Miller brings extensive local government and financial management experience to the position, having been a Councillor at Cowra Shire Council for 22 years, including 14 years as Mayor. He is also a director and a former chair of StateCover Mutual Limited.

Existing director, Martin O’Connell, replaces Leo Kelly as deputy chair of the board.

These appointments were made in accordance with the fund’s two-year rotation policy. Both John Beacroft and Leo Kelly remain on the board as Directors.

Local Government Super is also pleased to announce the appointment of two new directors, Michelle Blicavs and Keith Rhoades, who replace outgoing directors Beverley Giegerl and Sam Byrne.

BT releases new super search tool

BT Super for Life has launched a new online superannuation search, which allows new BT Super for Life customers to find their old superannuation accounts and combine them as part of their application – with only a couple of clicks.

BT general manager of superannuation, Deanne Stewart, said Australians have an average of 2.4 superannuation accounts each and $17 billion in lost super.

“Australians with more than one superannuation account may be paying fees they don’t need to pay. Many Australians have five or six accounts each and over the course of their working life they can pay tens of thousands in unnecessary fees.”

The BT super search:
• When someone opens a new BT Super for Life account, they can choose to provide their consent for a lost super search to take place.
• BT requests a lost super search from the ATO and identifies accounts belonging to the new customer.
• BT does the paperwork and sends it to the customer for them to sign and return.

Six month record streak as industry hits $7.12 billion

The Australian exchange traded fund market reached $7.12 billion in assets under management, a record high according to BetaShares’ Australian ETF Review for March.

March is the sixth consecutive month the Australian exchange traded fund industry has achieved record levels of assets, with new inflows for the month being approximately $107 million. Year to date new inflows of $353 million represents the best first quarter performance domestically. This is consistent with international trends as the global exchange traded products industry set a new first quarter inflows record of $70.1 billion.

The best exchange traded products on the ASX by performance for the month were commodities based, being natural gas and the crude oil ETF.

“While February saw large flows to international equities, March saw a swing back to domestic equities based products. This is reflective of global markets where equities accounted for 93% of flows, with a bias towards developed over emerging markets,” said Alex Vynokur, managing director at BetaShares.

Despite the high first quarter inflows across exchange traded products being equities based products, the cash ETF was the most popular in terms of new inflows during March, indicating a desired investor balance between stability and growth.