Christchurch-based adviser services and platform business, Consilium, has rolled out a new online client sign-up system for its discretionary investment management service (DIMS) offering, Synergy.
In a release last week, Consilium said the “first-to-market” third-party DIMS digital onboarding service would enable advisers using Synergy to bring on new clients despite the coronavirus lock-down conditions.
Consilium managing director, Scott Alman, said in the statement: “Many advisers throughout New Zealand are concerned about the short and long term effects of Covid-19 and we are focused on developing technology to streamline our back office systems so advisers can maintain a high standard of due diligence and a good customer experience.”
Alman said the online application technology created a “seamless experience that will meet regulatory requirements beyond the short term”.
As well as allowing advisers to set up a digital client sign-up form, the new Consilium service includes a “process for biometric identity verification”, the release says, which “creates an audit trail for the adviser plus allows them to check on the progress of the application remotely”.
Consilium was also developing further components of a planned “end to end digital advice solution” with “a risk profiling tool, goal planning calculator, statement of advice and a full digital review system, all in the pipeline”, according to the statement.
Synergy, launched in 2015 in partnership with SBS-owned wealth arm Funds Administration NZ (FANZ), now counts about $500 million in assets under management.
In October 2018 Consilium took over as administrator and manager of Synergy from FANZ after gaining its DIMS licence. Previously, Consilium provided investment advice for the 20 plus Synergy portfolios that cover graduated risk profiles allocated across a range of underlying, mostly passive, funds.
The portfolio choice includes a suite of options invested in a mixture of Australian unit trusts, exchange-traded funds and portfolio investment entity (PIE) products. Synergy also offers DIMS in responsible investment and pure PIE formats.
Underlying mangers include Dimensional Fund Advisors, iShares, Harbour Asset Management and AMP Capital.
The Financial Market Authority lists 53 class DIMS licensees, which collectively manage an estimated $30 billion or more: accurate figures are hard to come by. Authorised financial advisers can also offer ‘personalised’ DIMS under the current licensing system. The FMA had penciled-in the DIMS market for a review at some point – a point now receding in the distance as the coronavirus emergency stalls most regulatory programs.
Consilium, which recently gained a managed investment scheme (MIS) licence ahead of a planned KiwiSaver product launch, has about $4 billion under management on its FNZ-powered investment platform.
The group has postponed a planned FNZ technology update – dubbed ‘Wrap 2’ – set for April to later this year.