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Group 300 in aggregate race

IFA business Group 300 is in the first stages of developing an aggregating wrap platform that would allow IFA clients to transfer their own assets and view portfolio values online.

Group 300 chief executive Chris Batten claims that the product will not remove the need for advisers and says it would be designed to help financial planning.

Batten says the firm intends to complete the first stages of the design process and then seek backing from a bigger player, possibly a US firm, to sponsor further research and development.

Financial Technology Research Centre director Ian McKenna estimates a project of this scale could cost £50m upwards. One of the firm&#39s main competitors in the race to be the first to develop this type of product is American Express.

Group 300 is expanding its financial advice arm into the US and is about to open a Boston office. Batten feels US firms have a less anachronistic and more receptive view to financial services distribution.

The company will start offering financial services through its existing UK clients such as Claire&#39s Accessories which already have franchises in the US.

Webline managing director Paul Holland says: “Wrap products like this will empower consumers with more functionality without negating the requirement for an adviser for advice. Consumers will still need to know the profile of certain funds, for example.”

McKenna says: “There will be a handful of major infrastructure and platform providers offering aggregating wrap platforms but a wide range of diverse distribution organisations who will use their offerings.”

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