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Sesame in talks to exit Iress contract

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Sesame Bankhall Group is in talks with Iress over its 10-year contract with the technology provider.

Money Marketing understands Sesame is seeking to exit the contract after ceasing to operate as a network for investment advisers in July.

Sesame announced it was scrapping the investment network in March following a strategic review.

Under the deal, signed in 2012, Sesame promoted Iress’ Xplan system to its appointed representatives, with plans to later roll it out to members of SBG’s directly authorised business Bankhall. The deal represented Iress’ first Xplan client in the UK.

Money Marketing understands the arrangement is costing Sesame around £1m a year.

Xplan is an end-to-end system which offers portfolio management and business management tools.

In November, Bankhall signed a deal to promote Intelliflo’s Intelligent Office business management system to its advisers. This week Bankhall also selected Distribution Technology as its preferred partner for risk profiling and fund research tools.

Sesame says it is no longer promoting Xplan to Bankhall advisers, but would not elaborate on the reasons why.

Separately, Money Marketing understands Sesame has suffered a data breach in the last year which it has reported to the FCA.

Sesame executive chairman John Cowan says: “We are in negotiations with Iress about the contract. It was based on the supposition that Sesame would be a big player in the restricted investment advice market.

“Obviously following the strategic review and the change in direction for Sesame, that whole set up doesn’t really apply any more.

“We have a good relationship with Iress and the only thing that has led to these discussions is our change of direction.”

Iress UK executive director Mark Thelwell says: “We have a long-term contract with Sesame and that remains in place.

“Bankhall has a number of vendor relationships, of which Iress, Intelliflo and Distribution Technology are all one. Bankhall advisers can choose to use any of these providers.”

In May, Money Marketing reported advisers were pursuing Iress for thousands of pounds in refunded fees, after suffering “nightmare” technical problems with Xplan.

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