WEEKLY WRAP: IRESS preferred FoFA solution

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IRESS delivers Australia’s preferred solution for FoFA fee disclosure

Advice businesses representing more than 8,000 advisers have embraced IRESS’ XPLAN-CommPay solution to meet Fee Disclosure Statement (FDS) obligations imposed by the FoFA reforms.

Among these advice businesses are the vast majority of Australian institutional wealth businesses, along with many high profile boutiques, independent AFSLs and a large number of independent financial advisers.

Tizzy Vigilante, IRESS executive general manager of Wealth Management, says clients looked to IRESS as a scaled strategic partner for an effective, efficient and timely way to fulfill their new obligations.

The FDS solution has been one of the most sought after features of IRESS’ FoFA deliveries over the past 12 to 18 months, Vigilante says.

“XPLAN-CommPay is fully integrated within the XPLAN platform, enabling the adviser to combine client revenue data with service delivery and other customer relationship data, to facilitate the very efficient generation of fee disclosure statements.”

Synchron welcomes Lifewise Wealth Protection

Gold Coast based financial services practice, Lifewise Wealth Protection (Lifewise) is the latest financial advice business to come under the Synchron umbrella.

Synchron director, Don Trapnell, said he is excited to have Lifewise, which he describes as “an outstanding risk-focused business” on board. “We are delighted to have Lifewise join us and we are looking forward to helping the business grow so that it can offer even more people in Queensland better access to risk advice.”

Chris Kelaart, owner and managing director of Lifewise, which has 2,000 clients, said the fact that Synchron is a non-institutional dealer group played a big role in the decision to switch licensees. “I believe Synchron is one of Australia’s leading, most innovative groups,” Kelaart said. “They do not try to steer their advisers into recommending certain products because they don’t have particular interests in any one institution.”

Mr Kelaart also said despite LIfewise now having the scale to apply for its own Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL), joining Synchron made more sense.

“Having our own AFSL would have meant a large chunk of our time would have been taken away from our core function – servicing our clients,” he said. “For us, Synchron is the closest thing to having our own AFSL and, because Synchron directors are financial advisers themselves, they understand exactly what we need.”

Central Bank plans to exit QE creating strong exchange investment opportunities offshore 

Sydney-based specialist equity fund manager, PM CAPITAL, today said it did not participate in the ASX’s $553m five for 19 rights issue for either its global or its Australian fund.

Paul Moore, chief investment officer of PM CAPITAL, said exchanges can be attractive, scale businesses, but that offshore opportunities provide better growth opportunities than what is offered via an investment in ASX Limited.

“We have seen structural declines occur in many of the exchanges in the US and Europe in previous years, after trading and clearing competition was allowed. The knowledge and experience gained from seeing the deterioration of profitability because of increased competition has made us wary of owning the ASX in the current environment.

“We think futures exchanges present the best businesses model because they provide a high return on equity without the competition risk that equities exchanges face. As central banks reverse QE actions, we have conviction that the low rate guarantee provided by central banks will disappear, resulting in higher trading activity and higher returns for exchanges.

Westpac Online Investing launches Daily Share Tracker

Westpac Online Investing has launched Daily Share Tracker – an Australian-first feature which provides independent research and trading ideas based on a client’s individual share portfolio and trading behaviour. The new service will be delivered to each client’s inbox every day and will make it easier to track their investments.

Daily Share Tracker was launched in response to investor demand for market research and stock picking recommendations. A recent client survey conducted on behalf of Westpac showed that:

  • 43% of investors choose their stockbroker based on quality of research offered and research tools
  • 41% of investors said stock picking recommendations would increase their satisfaction with their online broker
  • 27% of investors said trading strategies are valuable to them.

“Our most recent client survey showed that investors put a high value on the quality of research and accompanying research tools from their online broker,” said James Staltari, head of Westpac Online Investing. “

“This new service is in response to our client demand for individually-tailored market research and strategies.”

Tyndall AM launches income fund for low tax rate investors

Following the launch of its Tyndall Australian Share Concentrated Fund to the retail market, Tyndall AM has introduced a new institutional version of the fund that may be suitable for investors on zero or low tax rates, such as charities, endowment funds and superannuation funds.

The new Tyndall Australian Share Concentrated Income Fund - LT uses the same strategy as the Tyndall Australian Share Concentrated Fund, however the new fund is likely to participate in off-market share buy-backs. 

Mike Davis, managing director at Tyndall AM, said that the business had identified a growing need for a concentrated share strategy that participated in off-market share buy-backs that may be suitable for zero and low-tax rate investors.

AMP Bank launches new deposit product

AMP Bank has launched a new deposit product offering customers an ongoing variable interest rate at a minimum of 100 basis points above the Reserve Bank of Australia Cash Rate Target.  

The AMP Notice Account has no minimum opening balance and a generous maximum balance of $10 million.  Interest is calculated daily and paid monthly.

Customers must provide a minimum of 31 days’ notice to withdraw funds. 

AMP Bank chief operating officer Rob Slocombe said the account is suitable for everyone from retail customers wanting to save more to wholesale investors looking for a competitive rate for their funds.

VicSuper signs contract for Bravura Solutions’ Sonata and ePASS superannuation administration solutions

Bravura Solutions Limited (Bravura) announced that it has signed a contract with existing client, VicSuper, for the use of Bravura’s next generation administration software – Sonata, and its online superannuation portal for members and employers – ePASS.

VicSuper has selected Sonata as its primary registry system to deliver improvements to its operations and enhance the services it offers members. ePASS natively integrates with Sonata and will serve as VicSuper’s employer contributions portal, as well as providing greater capacity for member engagement via online services including a mobile module.

Helen Rowell appointed as APRA Member

APRA has welcomed the Treasurer’s announcement of the appointment of Helen Rowell as an APRA Member for a term of five years.

Rowell is currently the Executive General Manager of APRA’s Supervisory Support Division. She joined APRA in 2002 and has been employed in a number of senior roles including general manager, Diversified Institutions Division and general manager Policy Development.

Rowell has represented APRA at various subcommittees of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors. She also represents APRA on the FSB’s Supervisory Intensity and Effectiveness Group and co-chairs the Joint Forum Financial Conglomerates Committee.

Prior to joining APRA, Rowell was a partner at the international consulting firm Towers Perrin (now Towers Watson), and she is also a fellow and past president of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia.

FIIG Securities appoints head of Markets

Leading fixed income broker FIIG Securities has completed an expansion of its senior management team with the appointment of experienced investment executive Craig Swanger to the position of head of Markets.

Swanger’s responsibilities include overseeing FIIG Securities’ Sales and Channel distribution business as well as risk management and product development. He will report directly to CEO Mark Paton.

Swanger joins FIIG Securities after 15 years at Macquarie Bank, most recently in the role of chief investment officer and head of Innovation where he was responsible for the investment aspects of its wealth management and banking arm.

Endowment Bond Exchange appoints Ibbotson as Senior BDM

Endowment Bond Exchange Ltd (EBX) announced the appointment of Carolan Ibbotson to the position of senior business development manager.

In May this year EBX launched a series of zero coupon bonds, known as Endowment Bonds, which can be used to establish a cash flow stream for up to thirty years in the future.  The bonds are particularly targeted at the retirement incomes market and can only be purchased on the EBX website.

“Carolan will manage the marketing of Endowment Bond Exchange to advisory practices in Queensland and NEW South Wales. In addition, she will utilize her extensive networks to assist the business in developing relationships with National Licensee’s and industry associations,” said EBX CEO Stephen Duchesne.

ANZ launches A$750 million ANZ Capital Notes Offer

ANZ announced that it intends to issue ANZ Capital Notes to raise $750 million with the ability to increase or decrease the size of the offer.

The offer is expected to open on 10 July 2013 and forms part of ANZ’s ongoing capital management strategy. ANZ will use the proceeds of the offer for general corporate purposes.

ANZ Capital Notes will constitute Basel III-compliant Additional Tier 1 Capital under APRA’s current capital adequacy standards.

ANZ Securities, Citigroup, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, J.P. Morgan, National Australia Bank and RBS Morgans have been appointed as joint lead managers and Bell Potter, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Ord Minnett have been appointed as co-managers on the transaction.

Donnelly Wealth Management is now Sornem Private Wealth

Donnelly Wealth Management has renamed itself as Sornem Private Wealth. The name comes from the combination of the two directors of the company; Erling Sorensen (Sor) and Jamie Nemtsas (nem).

“We believe the name ‘Sornem Private Wealth’ identifies with our philosophy and relentless focus on providing a bespoke holistic advisory service. Sornem Private Wealth more accurately describes our commitment to providing advice which spans generations and which is focused on protecting, managing and growing the wealth of our clients and their families,” said Nemtsas.

“We have deliberately differentiated ourselves from the many broad-based wealth management companies in the market over the years via the provision of highly personalised, client-focused and proactive advice. Our new name better reflects the philosophy we have continued to develop over the years as well as our strong and long held view that the provision of truly value-adding advice requires partnering with every client individually to assist in building long-term strategies whilst maintaining both privacy and transparency at all times.”