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Multi-million pound Bravura move sparked Cofunds sale

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Legal & General’s move to put Cofunds up for sale was sparked by a decision to replatform its technology to Bravura, Money Marketing understands.

L&G has sent an information memorandum to potential buyers two years after acquiring the platform.

Cofunds is currently powered by IFDS and has been considering its options ahead of IFDS’ contract ending in 2017. It is understood Bravura’s new Sonata system had been selected to replace IFDS, but the costs associated with the move prompted L&G to begin the sale process.

The project to replatform Cofunds to Bravura is expected to cost tens of millions of pounds.

A source with knowledge of the sale says: “The best technology fit was decided to be Bravura’s Sonata system. But total implementation was very expensive, which is what has driven the sale.

“Whether Cofunds will end up moving to Bravura if it is sold rem-ains to be seen. It depends who it is sold to. If it is another platform that would be a migration exercise, so the technology upgrade would not be necessary.”

A senior source at a major platform says: “L&G’s problem is that it failed to recognise Cofunds’ technology was out of date when it bought the business.”

Cofunds, L&G and Bravura declined to comment.

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Comments

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

  1. This has to be good news for Cofunds. Anything that can avoid L&G has to be an advantage. We may now see a return to the better standards we were used to 3 or 4 years ago.

  2. Soren Lorenson 3rd July 2015 at 11:50 am

    Will this happen quickly enough for Cofunds? Their post RDR transfer process is so complex that we have simply given up with Cofunds and are now transferring our clients out. Are we alone? I doubt it.

  3. Cofunds has never been a true “wrap” type platform and that’s generally been accepted, in return for simplicity and low costs, but they got RDR wrong and now things that should be two clicks require reams of paperwork and client signatures. I’d say they’re at least 5 years behind the other major platforms in terms of advancement; they’ve managed to put in generic fixes for some bits here and there but you can tell these have been bodged to fit a creaking system. The only thing that they have that is better than other platforms is the personalised quoting system, and that’s not going to win new business!

    If they do move to Bravura, which would probably be good in the long run, then advisers and clients would face the prospect of some teething pains for some months, even years (think of a well-known rival who this happened to not long ago). As a paraplanner with expertise in the platform space, I’m going to be ‘advising’ advisers to go elsewhere where it makes sense. Tens of millions of pounds in cost is not good for any platform!

  4. Malcolm Coury 3rd July 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Risky – Nucleus already use Bravura and Ascentric (backed by Royal London’s money) will go live with Bravura before the end of this year; so why stick with Cofunds keeping your fingers crossed a new buyer will do the same? Even if they do, it’s likely to be two years away and the current system is creaking at the seams. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cofunds start losing a lot of clients (on advice from their IFA) to other platforms following this announcement.

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