Published in NZ Adviser | 20 Jan 2017
Hawke's Bay-based Boutique Advisers Alliance (BAA) has launched its own, non-aligned, independent custodial platform that uses cutting-edge technology aimed at helping advisers meet their regulatory requirements more easily.
BAA, backed by Stewart Group, started building the platform last July together with technology provider FNZ.
BAA director Nick Stewart says the launch marks a pioneering step for the company, one of New Zealand’s only non-aligned financial advisory service providers to have its own custodial platform.
“We decided to paddle our own waka and be in control of our own custodial wrap platform…During my tour of the US last year I saw how automation and technology were driving their businesses, and that validated the decision to move to our own next generation platform.”
Tim Rowe, former Global ICT Manager of 16 years at a New Zealand born multinational, has been secured as platform service manager bringing extensive global IT and platform experience.
Stewart says the new platform offers advisers a solution that will future-proof their business.
It is global best practice for there to be a firewall between a client’s capital and the adviser. “It’s a fundamental that the adviser does not hold the cash.”
A custodial platform fulfils this role, from both a security and administration point of view, he says.
“The custodial platform handles all cash, script and units, and also enables economies of scale so our clients get a better deal through sharper pricing on brokerage, call account interest rates and underlying FOREX margins.”
The move means clients can rest assured the provider of the custodial platform is not a bank or insurance company, is not for sale, and is an independently owned non-aligned entity.
Stewart says the new platform is clever and intuitive, allowing automated DIMS reporting electronically to clients, eliminating the need for paper. Tax reporting and anti-money laundering provisions will also be automated.
“This is the first platform that has daily data feeds from the custodial platform to our client relationship management system. It means we can automate administratively heavy services and provide a more efficient service to clients and more one on one adviser to client time. It’s a game changer for us and our associate advisory businesses.”