Transact enabled us to access institutionally priced funds, in particular, those of Dimensional Fund Advisors, which were not available via the traditional retail platforms, and appeared at that time to be the best of the established vehicles for providing access to our recommended funds.
The full range of options that a wrap platform can provide was not the main priority, hence the initial research process concentrated on the features which were essential at the time.
A feature which has proved valuable is the facility for advisers to agree the appropriate level of remuneration with clients rather than having it set by the fund providers, something which has not been available with non-wrap platforms.
As our business slowly made the trasnition to the new model approach, we have been able to follow a reasonably shallow learning curve and deal with any admin issues which may arise from time to time. We have always found the people at Transact to be helpful and they have always reacted in the client’s favour and in a very efficient and timely manner where there are mistakes to be rectified.
I am aware that there are a lot more new kids on the block and my initial concern would be the survival of these new platforms in the present economic climate. I would, therefore, prefer to use one that is well-established financially profitable and has a proven track record. While we undertake a periodic check on the competitiveness of the Transact platform, its rivals would need to offer a more attractive all round proposition for our clients in order for us to move as we would be unlikely to switch on the basis of price alone.
Clients benefit from the admin convenience of being able to see all their investments in one place, accessible by internet and with greater transparency and control than would otherwise be the case. Both us and our clients find that the transaction listing facility, which prov- ides an audit trail of every penny held on their account, to be indispensable.
I regularly use the in-specie transfer facility both on to the platform and between the various tax wrappers. Clients find it very refreshing to be able to move investment funds from their general investment account into their Isa as a contribution for the current tax year without having to incur the costs of a buying and selling process.
In the future, I would like to see Transact be able to hold scanned files on the platform, enabling us to keep all financial documentation in one place. An i-phone application to give access to valuations on the go would also be welcome.
It is important that Transact maintains its compet-itive edge in terms of functionality and also pricing and not for them to sit on their laurels.
I firmly believe that wrap is here to stay and these days I only use insurance companies for insurance.
Nigel Bourke is director of Mercury Wealth Management