In the second part of our series examining those little known features and tools on your favourite platform, IFAonline looks at Axa Wealth's Elevate.
Elevate says its ability to pre-fund transactions is perhaps one of the most undersold benefits and lesser known gems for customers using the platform.
In times of volatile investment markets, Elevate's ability to pre-fund key transactions could play a vital part in helping advisers reduce the risks clients face when out of the market for a period of time.
Whilst being out of the market can be beneficial to clients, Elevate stresses it is nevertheless an unquantifiable and unmanageable risk.
For advisers actively managing a client's investment portfolio, the pre-funding feature means they can focus on designing and implementing suitable investment strategies without being worried about the client's investments being out of the market.
Elevate pre-funds the rebate credit to the client's cash account. This provides certainty around when the rebate will be credited to the account to help cover charges (both platform and adviser).
The facility also reduces the likelihood that automatic disinvestment will be required, meaning more of the client's money is invested in line with their chosen strategy for longer.
The platform says some of its competitors only credit cash rebates when they are received from the fund manager - meaning they are not received for many weeks and appear on the client's statement in dribs and drabs. On Elevate, all rebates appear together around the same time every month.
For new investments Elevate allows trading once payment has been banked without waiting for cleared funds. This means clients can complete their investment purchases the following day. The platform says some other players do not allow investment trades to be completed until funds have cleared - something which can result in the client's entry to the market being delayed for up to five days.
For pension business, the platform pre-funds tax relief before it reclaims it from HMRC. This allows customers to benefit from 120% of their contribution being invested immediately - as opposed to investing the initial contribution on day one and then making a subsequent contribution six to eight weeks later once the tax has been reclaimed. Elevate says some platforms only apply the tax relief to the client's account once they have received it from HMRC.
When a client completes a fund switch on Elevate the platform authorises the buy side of the transaction the moment the sell value is confirmed. It does this by pre-funding settlement of the sale order.
This means the platform does not need to wait several days for the fund manager to provide it with settlement before progressing. In many cases this results in the client only being out of the market overnight.
Other things Elevate offers...
Model portfolios: Elevate offers the ability to create model portfolios (as pictured in screen-grab image) which can be applied to one or more clients and defined at the customer, adviser or firm level. Its model portfolio capability also includes rebalancing and bulk switching enhancements. Old Broad Street Research model portfolios are also available which can be applied to all wrappers.
Risk profiling and asset allocation tool: Powered by independent experts Towers Watson, the psychometric questionnaire helps adviser ascertain the client's attitude to investment risk and provides a suggested risk rating.
Portfolioscan: This tool provides a comprehensive analysis of the client's investment portfolio, including asset allocation breakdown, top holdings, sector weightings and performance data.
Axa Wealth is also launching an execution-only platform in a bid to help IFAs service "orphan clients". Chief executive Mike Kellard said it will launch in Q1 or Q2 next year with partner IFA firms before being made more widely available.
Earlier this month Axa Wealth said platform sales on Elevate increased 107% in H1, bringing total platform assets under administration at the end of Q2 to £2.9bn.
Elevate was launched at the end of 2008 and now boasts over 780 advisers.
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