Aegon to move Cofunds users to new platform by end of 2017

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Cofunds users will start being transferred to the new Aegon/Cofunds platform by the end of the year as the foundation of the platform is now built, Aegon has confirmed.

Aegon’s acquisition of Cofunds completed in January and an advisory board of 30 intermediaries was set up to contribute to platform’s development.

At its latest meeting, the advisory board heard that the core of the new platform has been built and is based on the Aegon Retirement Choices platform.

A statement from Aegon reiterates that a new platform is not being built from scratch but a technology upgrade will “combine the best of worlds” from the Aegon and Cofunds platforms.

Speaking to Money Marketing, Aegon chief distribution and marketing officer Mark Till explains why the Aegon platform was used as the foundation.

Till says: “What is true about the Aegon platform is it is a much more modern platform. If you think about what Aegon’s platform can do, it can cope with stocks, shares, investment trusts, it has a pension, an Isa and a general investment account integrated in it. These things were not true of the Cofunds technology, it does not have an integrated pension and it cannot currently cope with stocks and shares and ETFs and investment trusts. That is why the Aegon platform is at the heart of what we are going to do going forward.”

Aegon users are expected to move onto the platform in the first half of next year, however some features of Cofunds will be available on the current Aegon platform ahead of the move.

Some of the features from Cofunds that will be added to the platform include pre-funding of trades and debit card acceptance, which do not currently exist on the Aegon platform. Cofunds users will be able to access a wider investment range, an integrated pension and a reduction in paper processes.

Asked if the projected £80m cost of technology upgrade had been reviewed or changed, Till says: “It has been reviewed and it certainly hasn’t been changed. One of the advantages we have had with the first three months is to validate the assumptions we made when we agreed to purchase the business. We remain confident that the number we said at the beginning is the number that will enable us to do the work we need to do.”

Aegon has promised it will not increase prices for Aegon Retirement Choices clients or Cofunds users.

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Comments

There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Paul W Wilson FPFS, Chartered Financial Planner 30th March 2017 at 3:25 pm

    What ? Against their will? So much for strategic partnerships…

  2. I always thought Cofunds were in trouble from the point they had to unbundle their charges and stop taking kick backs from the fund managers. Then, to move clients over to ‘new’ way would involve hundreds of hours of work for a new wrap that was very restricted in what it could do and the investments it could hold.

  3. They’ll need to do it by year end otherwise they will need to make 3 platforms MiFID II/PRIIPs compliant

  4. Another example why undertaking due diligence on platforms/fund supermarkets is difficult. With previous ownership of Cofunds one would have thought it was safe if you were inclined to listen to the spin. Perhaps it highlights that no matter the level of due diligence, every platform/fund supermarket is, like every other business, available to the highest bidder as and when the time is right.

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