By Mohamed Ali Bernat AssureWeb's Skandia fund supermarket link-up started last week allowing acces...
By Mohamed Ali Bernat
AssureWeb's Skandia fund supermarket link-up started last week allowing access to the company's Multisa, MultiPep and MultiFunds products over the internet.
As reported in Investment Week in July, Skandia is providing access to 162 funds from 20 leading providers, including Aberdeen, Fidelity, Gartmore, Threadneedle and M&G.
AssureWeb IFA users will have discounts of 1% of Multisa and MultiFund transfers and 2% for online MultiPep transfers until 30 September, after which it will revert to 1%.
David Stewart, joint chief executive of AssureWeb, said IFAs now had access to the most extensive range of leading fund managers.
Stewart also refuted claims that IFAs had been misled over who would receive the equities if the company floats.
Some intermediaries have complained that the equities will be directed to heads of IFA practices rather than each individual who applies but Stewart said the rules had always been transparent. He added: "We always said clearly that terms and conditions apply and our website's frequently asked questions section made it clear that it was up to individual firms how they allocate the shares."
The internet based company, which is owned by IFA network, DBS, is also pressing ahead with new services designed to increase adviser's use of technology in gaining and closing sales leads.
Mark Lofthouse, managing director of Assuresoft, the company which runs AssureWeb, said more than a third of IFAs with websites were getting leads from this channel and added that AssureWeb research indicated more than two thirds of IFAs will have websites within 12 months.
AssureWeb offers a free template on its site that enables intermediaries to create their own website, and also features an enhanced version which has a set up charge of £150 plus maintenance costs of £30 per month. Assuresoft believes the move over to website-based transaction needs speeding up after research by the company found that few advisers used the internet or database systems to generate new business. Over 80% of intermediaries only use technology for producing reasons why letters, storing client data or issuing chain letters.
It also found that nearly 60% use technology to identify best products, but fewer use it for tracking commission, creating reminders and reviewing fact finds. Less than a quarter use technology for sales presentations at point of sale and even fewer use it for tracking business ratios or initial fact finding at point of sale.
In July AssureWeb pre-populated the business details of more than 14,000 websites for IFAs, 70% of whom aim to have websites within 12 months.
AssureWeb's share initiative has helped boost membership numbers from just under 5,000 subscribers on 4 May, the day of the equity announcement, to 13,000 subscribers with usage more than doubling in the last two months.
AssureWeb currently has 13 companies which can provide real time quotations while another 12 have said they will be live by the end of the year.
The company is also working with mortgage lenders to provide an online decision in principle process.
Targeting intermediary market
Represents £8trn in assets
Simplify and modernise
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