Wellington-headquartered financial services firm, Booster, has taken a 20 per cent stake in Australian robo-advice business, BigFuture.
Under the terms of the deal, Booster would have “exclusive rights” to the BigFuture technology in New Zealand.
In a statement, Booster (formerly Grosvenor) managing director, Allan Yeo, said the BigFuture tools would “help 100,000 clients and their advisers really get their full financial picture”.
“BigFuture brings creative technology and the ability to develop sophisticated financial planning applications,” Yeo said in the statement. “The future of financial planning will be based on how we develop and adapt technology to enhance advisers’ direct face-to-face client relationship.”
Founded in 2014, BigFuture launched its cloud-based wealth advice platform in September last year, targeting the estimated 80 per cent of Australians who did not use a financial planner.
At the time, BigFuture CEO, David Hellyer, said the fintech system intended to “democratise wealth management, providing individuals with a means to take control of their wealth”.
BigFuture describes itself as the first “cloud based application to aggregate your financial position in one place, automatically updating balances but also allowing manual input of data”. The platform also offers asset allocation services as well as the ability to report wealth changes across multiple timescales.
In addition, the system “has a very powerful stochastic simulator to show the probability of a user having sufficient funds in retirement and how reliant they will be on the Age Pension”.
According to the BigFuture Australian Financial Services Guide (FSG), the services it offers include:
- Accessing affordable general financial advice;
- Presenting educational wealth information in an engaging and easily understood format;
- Providing a wealth tracking solution that centralises data around all that you own and owe; and
- Integrating the tracking of your wealth with other financial planning tools.
The FSG also allows BigFuture to deal in a range of financial products “by arranging for another person to apply for, acquire, vary or dispose of” the products in question.
Robo-advice offerings that include product recommendations are not permitted under current NZ legislation, however, the law does allow business to offer various financial calculators and client data aggregation tools.
The Financial Advisers Act (FAA) review published in July has recommended removing the legal requirement that financial advice must be delivered by a “natural person”.
“These changes enable the provision of robo-advice and make it easier to give consumers tailored advice,” the July FAA review summary says.