Advisers who have tried to create model portfolios on wraps will know there are pinch points that can trip up the platform. Mark Polson sees how Novia's Model Portfolio Manager compares...
The more advisers think about how they can manage risk in their business and deliver a repeatable set of services to clients, the more centralised investment propositions take off.
Bar some niggles about shoehorning (which sounds like a bizarre practice one might find in the darker corners of the interweb), model portfolios, asset allocation and outsourcing are ruling the day.
Our subject this week reckons it has the most evolved model portfolio management technology thingamajig in the UK; so much so that it’s carved it out as a badged service on its platform.
Mark Polson reviews: Novia's Model Portfolio Manager
The company in question is Bath-based Novia and the kit in question is its new Model Portfolio Manager (MPM) service.
The Ronseal approach
“What does it do?” I asked. “It manages model portfolios,” replied their man. “Ah,” I said.
Novia uses GBST’s Composer system as its technology base (in common with AEGON, Fidelity and AJ Bell) and has designed MPM in conjunction with GBST based on adviser feedback and a canny awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of competitor systems.
MPM is designed to do a lot of the heavy lifting of creating and maintaining portfolios, whether you’re an IFA with advisory permissions only, a discretionary IFA or a DFM in your own right. Those are three very different constituencies and, as a result, MPM has a lot – and I do mean a lot – of functionality inside it.
The clever bit is that the dudes in Bath know who you are and set your permissions accordingly. So if you’re an advisory IFA, your opportunities for exceeding your permissions are reduced and if you’re a DFM you don’t get to see individual client details.
That sounds easy to do, but it’s not, and I’ve seen too many systems where IFAs share logins with DFMs (in breach of just about every data protection rule known to man) to take it lightly.
When you open up MPM as an adviser, you’re greeted with a dashboard that shows you all the relevant portfolios, the accounts linked to them, FUA in each and the status of each one (broadly whether it’s active or not).
You can head off and create new portfolios, amend existing ones or do portfolio research. The investments in your portfolios link through into Novia’s Pscan facility (think Skandia’s U-Skan but taking the P) which uses data from FE.
Any readers who have tried creating model portfolios on wraps will know that there are a few key pinch points, which often trip up the platform. In our provider selection work with IFAs, these are areas we always concentrate on (see box, on page 3).
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