Auckland-based boutique advice firm, Private Wealth Advisers (PWA), will tip in close to $375 million to the FNZ-backed Consilium investment administration platform following a deal confirmed last week.
The move, that will see PWA shift assets from the Craigs Investment Partners in-house administration service, comes amid a sustained period of platform-hopping in the NZ market.
Craigs itself, for example, is currently transitioning about $600 million of internal money across to the NZX-owned NZX Wealth Technologies system, which also lured Macquarie across from the ASB-owned Aegis last year.
It is understood the Macquarie deal will see at least $1.7 billion change admin house. Last month the Hawke’s Bay-headquartered Boutique Advisers Alliance (BAA) – a collective of six advisory firms – also transferred about $375 million from Aegis to its newly-launched, FNZ-designed platform.
According to Roger Sutherland, PWA director, the firm carried out a “thorough investigation” of the NZ platform market before selecting Consilium.
Scott Alman, Consilium managing director, said about half of the $1.5 billion the adviser services outsource firm now oversees sits on the group’s platform.
Alman said the business was on track to supply services to about $2 billion by the end of 2017 “with the majority” expected to end up on the Consilium Platform (CP).
He said the Consilium client base, which numbers well over 50 advisory firms, currently has assets spread across several other platforms, including Aegis and the ANZ-owned OneAnswer, that would be consolidated in the CP.
Launched in mid-2015, the CP offers a “wide range of investments in multiple currencies, including wholesale managed funds, multi-term deposits and listed shares, at institutional prices”, Consilium says in a statement.
“The FNZ platform is not something you buy of the shelf, it needs to be built out to individual needs,” Alman said.
He said Consilium has continued to add features to the CP with another round of enhancements scheduled for this year.
“Our multi-term deposit facility with wholesale pricing has been a game-changer for many firms, as it enables them to manage the total client assets disintermediating traditional channels,” Alman said.
Consilium offers a range of services to financial advisory firms including compliance, asset allocation and investment advice (via mainly index-style funds offered by Dimensional Fund Advisors, BlackRock and others), practice management, as well as the CP.
Alman said advisers can pick-and-choose the Consilium services they require.
In addition to the newly-signed PWA, Consilium counts – among others – Polson Higgs, TailoredNZ, Quartz Wealth, and Bloomsbury as clients.
Consilium also formed a joint-venture with the SBS-owned Funds Administration NZ (FANZ) in 2015 to launch Synergy, a discretionary investment management service (DIMS) platform.
Alman said Synergy, also backed by FNZ technology, has about $100 million under administration sourced from SBS advisers and the third-party market.
Originally the adviser services arm of Christchurch-headquartered financial planning firm Bradley Nuttall, Consilium appeared in its current form about three years ago.
While transferring assets across platforms in NZ is not necessarily a breeze, across the Tasman the process is particularly fraught with capital gains tax issues among others.
Last week Calastone, which facilitates fund transactions, introduced a wrap transfer system in Australia adapted from its UK product.
Sarah Hayward, Calastone Australasia chief, said the new system would “provide a unified and automated way of managing the transfer process, with more certainty and less risk”.
A spokesperson for Calastone said the wrap transfer system was “early days… but on the agenda” for the NZ market.
“As there is not CGT in NZ, the major benefits of automating platform transfers are a) improved efficiency and risk management by moving away from paper based processes and b) holdings stay in the market (no need to exit, re-enter),” the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, Calastone has signed on Rabobank as the latest NZ fund platform client for its order-routing service, joining Aegis and FNZ.