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Adviser demand prompts ATS to launch DFM

Alliance Trust Savings will expand its platform offering in 2014 to include discretionary fund management services and model portfolios.

The firm last week reported assets under administration on its i.nvest platform have reached £5bn, up 32 per cent from £3.8bn at the same time last year. Pre-tax operating profit for the first half of 2013 was £200,000. That figure compares to a £700,000 pre-tax operating loss for the first half of 2012.

ATS managing director Patrick Mill says the expansion into DFM services has been considered internally for some time following adviser requests for DFM capability.

He says: “We have now started to talk to DFMs and look at what we need to do. We are building the functionality with our in-house technology and will announce when the service will become available before the end of the year.”

Mill added: “We believe we can offer something very competitive in the market. Our value add will be that we can be very competitive with our pricing structure and offer good value.”

ATS is unusual in charging on a flat-fee basis rather than a proportion of assets on its platform. It intends to move all of its legacy business to clean share class funds by the end of 2013.  

Murphy Financial partner Adrian Murphy welcomed the move and said it could encourage his firm to consider accessing discretionary management through the platform. 

He says: “It’s something we’ve been pushing for, although the platforms were a bit slow and the investment managers have been a bit slow. We use discretionary mangers but not through platforms at the moment.”

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