I read with interest the front page comments last week from Cofunds marketing director Rick Andrews.
Reacting to FundsNetwork's £50 reregistration fee for IFAs consolidating client portfolios on to the platform, Mr Andrews asked whether such a payment to IFAs makes a difference?
He might not think so but, if our recent experience is typical, he might find his IFA customers disagree with him.
While no IFA would undertake reregistration of a client's portfolio simply because it pays £50, the fact that FundsNetwork is willing to provide some financial recompense for the IFA time and administration involved does tip the commercial balance and many IFAs have told us that they greatly appreciate this fact.
I am pleased that Cofunds will “put its resources into developing services which help the consolidation process”. Unlike Mr Andrews, though, we do not see this as an alternative to a re-registration fee but something which works alongside our sales and marketing efforts.
That is why FundsNetwork has been at the forefront of industry discussions between platforms, fund groups and depositaries/trustees to advocate a move away from so-called wet signatures, the adoption of electronic reregistration messaging and improved reconciliation arrangements.
These would bring significant advantages for IFAs by reducing re-registration administration, eliminating duplicated paperwork and facilitating faster completion.
Perhaps Cofunds will join with us and show more enthusiasm in this regard.
Stuart Holah Head of IFA business, Fidelity Investments,