The industry has long fantasised about an electronic messaging system that
could be used by everyone. Back copies of the trade papers are full of
stories about new electronic systems, failed initiatives, pipe dreams and
some success stories too.
When Autif took the lead in the investment fund arena, it was the green
light for co-operation between fund management houses and IFAs. EMX went
live on June 12 this year.
EMX Co (a subsidiary of Autif) deliberately chose to consult with the
industry, which some might consider to be a fairly radical departure.
EMX canvassed the opinions and requirements of all the interested parties
and built those requirements into the system. It continued to carry the
support of all the sponsor companies, “borrowed” resources from wherever it
could and kept its word to the industry.
The result is a system which arrived on time – under budget – which is
easy to use, which works and which has received the approval of the
providers, advisers and the Government.
At the moment, there is a cost to pay. The sponsor companies have paid for
this multi-million-pound development and advisers are being asked to pay to
use it. But there are choices. IFAS can access the system:
Through a web browser.
Through a consolidator or a fund supermarket.
Through a direct hub link.
Many IFAs have already indicated that they will conduct their business
through a consolidator such as a network or a software provider where
massive economies of scale can be achieved.
Any cost would normally be agreed with the consolidator and, in the case
of networks, EMX anticipates that it will be marketed by the networks as an
additional service in their range such as compliance, commission-chasing
EMX is currently speaking to six organisations which would be natural EMX
consolidators for the IFA community.
IFAs should also balance out any cost with a number of very attractive
The speed of the service they can now offer their clients means that they
can buy and sell units (for free) and supply portfolio valuations in a
The introduction of EMX means that fund supermarkets are no longer the
exclusive territory of providers. E-dealing reduces costs and low-margin
products such as stakeholder pensions and Isas become attractive business
There is also the elimination of paperwork which electronic dealing provides.
I would also like to make clear that all costs associated with the system
are under review. The more that advisers and management houses use the
system, the more the system will deliver in cost savings – and the more
that management houses will be able to pass on in the way of savings to
IFAs and IFAs to their customers. It was always intended to be a symbiotic
Having developed the system with the consultation of the entire industry
and created a messaging service that is universally agreed to meet
everyone's needs – on time and under budget – we are confident that we will
meet the industry's stiff criteria and become the messaging system of
For anyone who wants to know more about the benefits that the EMX system
can deliver, the website addressis www.emx.co.uk.