WEEKLY WRAP: PEOPLE, PRODUCTS AND COMPANIES: No More Practice launches education on succession

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No More Practice launches financial services training & education division

No More Practice (a wholly owned division of evolution media group) has launched a new financial services training and education division that will offer online education services as well as live event education services, through its 20,000 strong community. 

The move is in response to strong demand from the No More Practice community, with a recent survey indicating over 55% are interested in on-going practical educational programs that expand on the growth and succession issues in the series.   

The new division will be led by industry veteran Garth Hehir, who joins No More Practice with a long history in the financial services education sector, having previously worked for AIFA Group, Kaplan, FINSIA and The Securities Institute. 

With over 20 years’ experience in the financial services education sector, Hehir brings a deep insight to the needs of educators; specifically a knowledge of the regulatory issues underpinning training, course content, education logistics as well as the processes required for delivering accredited education services and training to large institutions.

1000 reasons to trial Moneysoft

With the launch of the Moneysoft, advisers can now have a complete view of their client's financial status, at the press of a button – across all major financial institutions, equivalent to 200 bank accounts – all in one place and on one page.

Moneysoft, an industry-first web-based technology, improves the financial fact-finding process between advisers and their clients. By alleviating the time burden on advisers when they gather information on new clients at the initial meeting and consecutive meetings, Moneysoft helps advisers save on costs.

“Quality information is the cornerstone of quality advice,” said Peter Malekas, managing director and founder of Moneysoft.

“The information collected via Moneysoft simplifies ongoing client reviews and provides a smart monitoring portal to assist advisers, with a complete picture of their client's personal finances. What’s more, this makes it easier to do business as Moneysoft allows advisers to spot new opportunities for their clients and present recommended strategies more easily. It means clients are more likely to engage with adviser strategies,” said Malekas.

For a limited time, for one month only, Moneysoft is offering trial licenses to the first 1000 advisers who sign up.

HLB Mann Judd named best accountancy firm

Mid-tier accountancy firm HLB Mann Judd has been named “Best Accountancy Firm (revenue between $50 million and $500 million)” in the 2013 BRW Client Choice Awards. 

It was also a finalist in the category “Best provider to the government and community sector”. The awards were presented at a dinner in Sydney on Wednesday.

The awards are based on quantitative research into buyers of professional services, conducted independently by Beaton Consulting. The selection of the finalists and winners is determined exclusively by the opinions of over 20,000 clients of professional services organisations who participated in the research.

Tony Fittler, chairman of the HLB Mann Judd Australasian Association, said the award is a testament to the long-standing focus on providing the best client service by all firms in the association.

Quality advice recognised through Genesys awards

Excellence in financial planning has been celebrated with AMP’s Genesys Wealth Advisers announcing the recipients of its adviser recognition awards.

Stanford Brown Financial Advisers has picked up both the Member Firm of the Year Award for wealth management expertise and the Ballesty Sikemma Award for outstanding professional performance by an individual adviser.

Sacha Sanders from Potential Private Wealth was honoured with the Richard Harvey Award which recognises excellence in up-and-coming advisers.

Genesys Wealth Advisers managing director Paul Robertson said the awards are an opportunity to step back and reflect on what it means to be a financial adviser in today’s community.

“Our time is spent guiding clients through their financial lives, providing them with one of the ingredients for their future well-being, so it’s important to recognise advisers who excel at what they do,” Robertson said.

YBR smarter money fund delivers 7.7 per cent annual return after fees

YBR Funds Management, a division of Yellow Brick Road Holdings Limited (ASX Code: YBR) (“Yellow Brick Road”), is pleased to announce the 12 month performance of the YBR Smarter Money Fund (“Smarter Money”).

Over the 12 months since Smarter Money’s inception, the fund has returned 7.7% (after all fees) for its investors. The return was more than double the RBA’s cash rate, which averaged 3.5% over the same period.

Smarter Money also significantly outperformed its benchmark, which is the RBA cash rate plus 1% per annum after fees. The fund’s volatility, which measures the variability of returns, has been less than 1% per annum, which was consistent with expectations.  By way of comparison, independent analyst Morningstar’s category of similar funds to Smarter Money, indicated an average return of 4.9% per annum over the same period. Note that past performance does not assure future returns.

New saving product gives advisers a better solution for clients looking to corral cash

A new type of online savings product to RaboDirect, which helps people meet their savings goals faster by keeping cash at arms’ length while earning competitive rates, was announced by RaboDirect.

The new type of account to RaboDirect, called Notice Saver, was developed in response to the insight that keeping some cash at arm’s length would ease the pain the for business owners when the big bills needed paying and would also help customers who wanted the security of a term deposit but with greater flexibility.

Greg McAweeney, Group Executive of RaboDirect Australia and New Zealand, explained:

Notice Saver is not quite a High Interest Savings Account, nor a Term Deposit. It gives the high interest, fee-free benefits customers expect from RaboDirect – with a differentiating feature designed to improve budgeting, and that is the requirement to serve a notice period before withdrawing funds  31, 60 or 90 days, depending on the type of Notice Saver account chosen” McAweeney said.

Unlike a Term Deposit, this isn’t an investment period but rather the amount of notice that must be given before funds can be withdrawn. Also, unlike a Term Deposit, it has a variable interest rate, tiered depending on the balance. 

FIIG opens bond market to more corporates

Fixed income broker FIIG Securities has taken another step to open up a new funding source for Australia’s corporates by acting as Sole Lead Manager for a wholesale corporate bond issue by sugar miller Mackay Sugar Limited.

The issue, which is intended to raise up to $50 million, is only the second of its kind in Australia and follows a similar $30 million bond issue arranged by FIIG Securities for equipment financier Silver Chef Limited in August 2012.

The bond, with a 5 year maturity, is offered with a coupon of 7.00% to 7.5% per annum.

FIIG Securities CEO Mark Paton said the bond issue would allow Mackay Sugar to diversify its funding sources: “There is extremely strong unmet investor appetite for this type of issuance and we believe the market will continue to grow as more companies become aware that this attractive long-duration funding is available.”

Paton said the success of the Silver Chef issue had encouraged other companies to consider a bond issue to wholesale investors who include high-net worth individuals and self-managed superannuation funds.