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IFA investment e-trading boost

Giant IT consultant Cap Gemini is launching an electronic trading gateway to enable IFAs to trade unit trusts and Oeics free of charge.

It believes Autif&#39s EMX electronic trading platform, which charges a fee for each transaction, will be used mostly by stockbrokers and institutional investors not by many IFAs.

Cap Gemini insists it is not competing directly with EMX and says the gateway can be complementary to the Autif initiative.

The move comes just a week before Autif members meet to discuss funding proposals for EMX and Autif chairman Alan Ainsworth is confident fund managers will stump up enough cash to keep the project in industry hands.

The gateway will be based on new XML message standards being developed by a consortium including Microsoft, DBS Assuresoft, Mellon Bank and Interactive Investor.

The consortium wants defined message standards for UK and cross-border trading of unit trusts, Oeics and Ucits and wants to involve Origo in the initiative.

EMX is set to charge IFAs 80p per transaction in its low volume tariff but transaction charges for high volume business will start from 12p moving up to 51p per transaction for medium volume business.

DBS PR manager Sue Lewis says: “We understand the service will come at no cost to the IFA. This has to be encouraging for IFAs versus a chargeable service.”

Cap Gemini director of business development for banking and securities Michael Fordham says: “We feel the Emx initiative will be successful, but it will be most interesting to stockbrokers and institutional managers. The big question mark will be what the IFA market will do. We have reacted in this direction from what IFAs have put to us.”

Autif chairman Alan Ainsworth says: “There is no question we will not get enough funding. It will go through the SGM without touching the sides and funding will not be a problem.”


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