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Australian bank eyes IFA market

The National Australia Bank is aiming to break into the IFA market with the extension of its multi-manager proposition, MLC Investment Management, which has previously only been available through its UK banking subsidiaries.

The initiative, called Pivotal, will be headed by former Prudential group sales director John Cowan and based on its Australian model, which allows IFAs to focus on holistic planning based on their clients&#39 long-term investment objectives.

The multi-manager service with two portfolios and six funds selected from seven UK fund managers goes live this week and Cowan says Pivotal will offer IFAs more than just another investment tool.

He says that through the summer, Pivotal will roll out a range of business services at a cost similar to services offered by modern-day IFA networks, including sorting out authorisation, training & compliance, annual and succession planning, compliance and information technology.

Pivotal will initially be wholly owned by NAB but, after depolarisation, it will aim to separate itself from its parent. NAB introduced MLC to the UK market through its Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks in December 2001.

Cowan says: “It is clear that there is a global trend among the financial advisory community towards focusing on customers. Increasingly, this means that advisers are doing what they are good at and outsourcing the rest.”

Informed Choice managing director Nick Bamford says: “I look forward to seeing what their proposition is. I suppose it will appeal to some IFAs but what will they be offering that is not currently available in the marketplace?”

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