Cofunds is negotiating with asset management firms to renew agreements made years ago which could see groups forced to pay extra lump sums to the platform.
Investment Week understands Cofunds has been attempting to renegotiate deals with asset management groups which sell their funds via the platform.
It hopes to maintain prior agreements struck with groups when previous boss Brett Williams was in charge. He left in July 2010.
The deals dictate exactly what Cofunds takes from the AMC of funds it sells. Investment Week understands the original deals saw additional basis points paid to Cofunds out of the AMC by fund groups to help it transform itself into more of a distributor than a facilitation service.
Groups agreed to the original deals in order to improve competition in the platform space at a time when there were only a few main players.
Cofunds is now trying to agree new deals with fund groups in the lead up to RDR, and has presented them with two options as pressures grow for increased transparency around pricing post-2012.
The first option would see groups renew the existing contracts with the additional basis points maintained. However, as these deals are forced into the limelight post-RDR, groups are concerned they may be forced to make similar payments to other platforms aggrieved by Cofunds receiving extra payments.
Option two would see groups commute the basis points into a lump sum, labelling it an 'administration fee', which would be paid to Cofunds during 2013.
Cofunds said a number of fund groups have signed up to new deals, but Investment Week understands others are stalling and are less keen to keep the payments going, with the platform market now much broader and their reliance on Cofunds diminished.
Alastair Conway, sales and marketing director of Cofunds, said the group does not comment on negotiations, but added it would be ‘absolutely transparent' in the new world.
"While we don't comment on commercial negotiations, we are supportive of the regulator's viewpoint that they do not want to see commercial arrangements made in 2012 which circumvent the rules in 2013," he said.
Conway stressed that the group is not seeking to increase its charges to fund groups, but simply maintain the deals it already has in place.
"I see no reason why Cofunds should not receive benefits over smaller platforms. We want to maintain our commercial benefits as it allows us to price our tariff more competitively to the end advisers and investors," he said.
Cofunds itself has promised to go live with a new pricing policy for investors this summer, with the aim to get it up and running in Q3.
‘Important to have an anchor’
Report to be written by TPR
Lack of innovation for solutions
Some 2,000 consumers affected