Govett's portfolio tracking tools range joins a host of online information services
Competition in the servicing of intermediaries' online needs continues to develop apace as a range of investment companies introduce enhanced features to their current internet offerings.
Govett Investments has completed the first phase of its online strategy, developing a range of portfolio tracking tools for both intermediaries and their clients, available on its website.
The illustrations tool enables users to calculate returns from investments in Govett funds, while its portfolio tracker application can be used to monitor the performance of an existing Govett portfolio or a fantasy portfolio of Govett funds.
Financial advisers can also use the illustrations application as a sales tool, as it provides the projected performance of various Govett investment vehicles.
A number of informative and educational services have also been developed online, particularly in new areas such as stakeholder, where administrative efficiency is paramount, given the 1% commission scenario and more complex fields such as inheritance tax planning (IHT). Stakeholder.co.uk, a website focusing exclusively on stakeholder pensions, is launching an internet television channel to provide education and news on developments in stakeholder and what the various product providers are offering.
The company has worked with new media marketing agency EC-1 to develop the project with a view to going live in June.
Chris Dixon, managing director of Stakeholder.co.uk, said the interactive television service will look to offer a series of broadcasts outlining the differences in products offered by providers, with a view to possibly offering live interactive advice in the longer term, if the demand is there.
Dixon said: 'Our aim is to gain the support of the leading providers of stakeholder pensions so that their products and services can be made available to the stakeholder TV audience.'
The site currently offers links to the stakeholder websites of 46 product providers, along with decision trees for employers wondering whether they have to provide a scheme and a database of intermediary contacts.
Scottish Life has just been commended on its stakeholder website and IT systems, following a review by Compass Management Consultancy, independent management consultants.
Compass branded Scottish Life's IT systems and development world class and praised its high productivity levels and low network costs.
Mike Lusby, head of financial services at Compass, said of Scottish Life: 'The company was operating at a high level when first reviewed and with a number of further recommendations, the organisation will be able to further increase performance improvement.'
Meanwhile, Canada Life has produced a CD-Rom to facilitate inheritance tax planning for financial advisers. As well as education, the package includes a client-facing tool that intermediaries can use to explain the importance of IHT planning.
The application also includes a 'taxometer', which reveals precisely how much tax would be payable on the client's estate upon death and provides practical suggestions about how clients can meet the shortfall, whether it be onshore or offshore, investment or protection.
Jeremy Pearson, business development manager at Canada Life, said: 'IHT is an essential area of financial services but the range of planning options can easily confuse clients.
'This CD-Rom will save time and give advisers the tools they need to provide solutions for existing and future clients.'
Taking internet developments a step further, Standard Life Investments has launched a WAP service, allowing advisers and their clients to monitor their portfolios via internet-enabled mobile phones.
Nathan Parnaby, managing director of client funds at Standard Life Investments, said: 'Customers and brokers will be able to input their portfolio of funds, stocks and shares, from both Standard Life Investments and other companies, on our website. This can be accessed through a WAP phone at any time to review its progress.' Investment Week 28 May 2001
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