Newly-rebranded financial adviser services firm, Finzo, has rolled out a new UK currency-denominated pension transfer product managed by US fund giant, Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA).
The new DFA product, hosted on the i-Select superannuation scheme, will only be available to advisers using the Finzo platform, the group’s chief, Nick Stewart, said.
At a Finzo launch event in Hastings last week, Stewart said the deal was a big coup for the Hawke’s Bay-based business as DFA only has five “slots” globally available for such non-resident product offers.
Large global pension and sovereign wealth funds figured among the other DFA non-resident slots, he said.
The pound sterling DFA fund was aimed at the growing band of UK ex pats in NZ looking to transfer their pension assets without locking in currency exchange to the local dollar.
Formerly known as the Boutique Advisers Alliance (or BAA), the business took on the Finzo name this May ahead of the looming Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act (FSLAA) regime.
Finzo intends to apply for a full financial advice provider (FAP) licence once the FSLAA licensing queue opens later this year.
Stewart said the group hoped to attract like-minded DFA-friendly advisers to the FAP (if approved) but it also offered a range of compliance and platform services (backed by FNZ technology) that other financial advisory firms could use to meet FSLAA obligations.
BAA (now Finzo) was spearheaded by the Stewart Financial Group, which was instrumental in launching the DFA-managed KiwiSaver ‘Asset Class’ funds housed in the Booster scheme.
In May i-Select, which offers a wide range of underlying investment options to facilitate UK pension transfers to NZ, also released a new portfolio investment entity (PIE) super scheme targeting offshore clients.
Chris Heffernan, head of i-Select, said at the time that the new PIE scheme, which has Mercer as underlying manager and Adminis as administrator and custodian, would offer a tax-attractive option for non-NZ resident UK ex-pats.
Heffernan said the UK pension transfer market to NZ had eased somewhat since an annual inflow peak of about $450 million in 2014 but was still garnering up to $250 million each year.
Currently, the traditional i-Select super scheme has about $330 million sourced from a range of financial advisers who offer the UK pension transfer service. But it is an increasingly competitive market with NZ Funds, AMP (via the NZ Retirement Trust), SuperLife, Craigs Investment Partners, Booster and Kiwi Wealth pressing for market share.
Earlier this year, for instance, NZ Funds launched a ‘zero transfer fee’ UK pension offer that since attracted about $40 million.