New advice fintech WealthO2 doubles FUA in 3 months
WealthO2, the fintech for financial advisers, has doubled in funds under administration between June 2017 and October 2017.
MD Shannon Bernasconi said growth had been based on referrals only, demonstrating a strong network of likeminded advisers seeking a better way to manage their best interest obligations. “It’s very exciting to have the support of the adviser community and, in turn, help them to deliver better value advice to more Australians,” she said.
Interest in technology like WealthO2 is based on a desire to eradicate conflicts of interest and deliver advice more affordably, Ms Bernasconi said. The business has found advisers weary of the conflicts of interest inherent in traditional administration and asset allocation and ready for a new approach, to strengthen adherence to the best interest duties established by FOFA in 2013.
“Technology and ethics are converging, enabling the best interests of both clients and advisers in a symbiotic manner. For instance, greater automation and new approaches to administration can lower the cost of advice and remove remaining conflicts of interest,” said Bernasconi.
WealthO2 offers an unconflicted approach with no ties to product manufacturing or profiteering on the cash reserves of clients. It was this approach and sophisticated technology that attracted Banyan Tree Investment Group to select WealthO2as its preferred partner for advice models and research.
Banyan Tree is a private investment company that offers investment research and fund management services. Chhai Ung, a Director of Banyan Tree, said, “It’s been a breath of fresh air working alongside WealthO2 to provide an unconflicted research service to our adviser clients. A distinguishing factor is that WealthO2’s Managed Account offering is not a product.”
Trevor Geffin, a Director at Core Private Wealth, knows only too well the limitations and conflicts inherent in the traditional administration and platform approach. “After an extensive market study, we were very pleased to come across WealthO2,” says Geffin. “They are significantly ahead of the curve with respect to their technology and singular focus on enabling advisers. We were particularly impressed at how their platform was carefully conceived to comprehensively meet the needs of all stakeholders involved in the delivery a MDA business model, namely the end-client, the adviser and model managers. We find it highly appealing how WealthO2 are unashamedly focused on being a technology company, aiming to provide the most superior technology solutions for their end users and not on growing their revenue from financial product distribution or manufacturing. As a self-licensed firm, we found strong alignment in their unique business model, which will allow us to provide the highest quality portfolio solutions to our clients.”
Michael Rees-Evans, Director, Libertas Wealth Consulting is also amongst the community of advisers seeking a better alternative for administration and asset allocation. “With a large practice in the process of leaving a CBA-owned AFSL and moving onto our licence, we were looking for a partner to add value to our client service and practice efficiency by automating compliance and administrative functions, and enabling more timely client portfolio rebalancing client record of advice generation,” he said. “As an independent licensee we do not want our Approved Product List to be confined or influenced by our partners, and we have found this unconflicted support from WealthO2.”