Mark Loosmore of AT8 Group looks at the acquisition of eValue from Towers Watson by Financial Express.
Financial Express provides data to a huge proportion of the distribution chain of financial services. It supplies many software houses including Avelo, Plum, IntelliFlo, SSP and Focus. It also supplies the Platforms including Cofunds, Skandia and FundsNetwork as well as driving many distributor websites and extranets.
eValue FE is a financial forecasting tool that helps advisers and consumers to see the potential risk and return from investment choices. Like the data provision service of Financial Express, eValue has also received considerable success powering systems from the likes of Avelo, IntelliFlo and Focus, while also powering platforms and product provider extranets.
Financial Express is keen not to be pigeon-holed as a data provider. It has, for a number of years, had a powerful planning tool in ‘FE Analytics’ which has over 5,000 users. The acquisition of eValue further strengthens the systems it offers to advisers to help make use of the data it provides.
Following on from the acquisition of eValue and its rapid integration to Analytics we expect to see more and more emphasis in its corporate communication moving the firm from the world of supplying data to a focus on helping advisers to be better informed.
Depth of data
Owning the underlying fund and asset data and providing the financial planning tools does offer considerable benefits. Financial Express is able to keep the tools and the data in sync so that definitions are consistent (eg risk ratings) and if changes to the data are made the financial planning tools are changed to exploit the changes.
Financial Express also holds a greater depth of data than is typically passed to the planning tools and it tunes its tools to exploit this depth of data to help the adviser make better decisions.
In February, a new release Financial Express Analytics (Version 3) was made. This release was significant for a number of reasons – it was one of the biggest ever for Financial Express and improved the usability of the system considerably, it also improved the presentation of the charts and reports it produces.
Several new pieces of functionality were added including addressing our biggest concern of the past – the lack of a client database to save actions and reports against. It has also improved the administration functions and added sector factsheets.
Financial Express has embedded the newly acquired eValue FE tools into the heart of the product to help perform both an Attitude to Risk (ATR) questionnaire and asset allocation. The integration is pretty seamless and well executed.
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