Investment platform and financial adviser services firm, Consilium, is closing in on $2 billion under administration ahead of schedule with a raft of advisory businesses signing up in recent weeks.
Scott Alman, Consilium managing director, said group now oversees about $1.8 billion in total, of which almost $1 billion sits on the Consilium Platform (CP) – the FNZ technology-backed investment administration service.
In February, Alman told Investment News NZ the business was on track for $2 billion under admin by the end of 2017.
After transferring boutique firms Private Wealth Advisers and Lyford Investment Management – with $375 million and $85 million under advice respectively – earlier this year, he said Consilium has signed agreements with three more advisory firms with others in the offing.
The latest batch of Consilium converts includes Christchurch-based Total Wealth, Alexandra firm Central Financial Planning and an Auckland high net worth boutique run by Ian Milligan.
Katrina Studholme, Total Wealth director, said the group moved its $14 million under advice to Consilium from Aegis for a range of reasons.
Studholme said while service issues at the ASB-owned Aegis – which has seen high staff turnover of late – prompted the move, Consilium also offered better deals on its cash management accounts, which flowed through to efficiencies for clients.
“Consilium provides more resources and more support to advisory businesses,” she said.
Studholme said Total Wealth – which she runs with co-director Paul Gunby – has grown from scratch since launch three years ago.
“We’re a small but growing business,” she said.
Central Financial Planning’s Brent Wilson is in a similar position. Since striking out on his own in January following a two-year stint at Forsyth Barr, Wilson said Consilium offered him the opportunity to rebuild a true ‘holistic’ advice business.
“Consilium is about advice and solutions rather than pushing product,” he said.
Prior to joining Forsyth Barr, Wilson had a long career at the now AMP-owned Spicers dating back to 2000.
Coming to Consilium, he said, “feels like a shift back to the early days of Spicers”.
Meanwhile, Auckland-based adviser, Ian Milligan spent two years mulling over platform changes. Previously, Milligan used another FNZ-backed platform offered via Fisher Funds to administer his “reasonably substantial” client assets.
He said the Consilium pricing model (Milligan accesses only the platform services) and flexibility convinced him to make the jump.
Given his former platform was also based on FNZ technology, Milligan said the transition was “very easy for me”.
However, he said changing administration providers was not always so simple for advisers.
“My view is that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Milligan said.
As well as its varied financial adviser client base, Consilium hosts the SBS-owned Synergy discretionary investment management service, currently reporting about $112 million under management.
This week Synergy will roll out four new model portfolios with a socially responsible investment (SRI) bent.
In a statement, Consilium chief investment officer, Damon O’Brien, said SRI offerings in NZ were often built at the expense of “prudent portfolio construction” techniques.
“Historically, the few responsible investment funds available were typically high cost, highly concentrated and provided minimal mandate control or consistency,” O’Brien said in the statement. “This no longer needs to be the case.”
The Synergy SRI portfolios – ranging from a 30/70 to a 98/2 growth/income split – feature exposure to passive-style funds managed by Vanguard, BlackRock and Dimensional Fund Advisors.