Nucleus first platform to sign up to Options initiative

Nucleus, the IFA-owned and controlled wrap proposition, has become the first wrap platform to join Options, the insurance industry’s initiative to transform the speed of annuity and pension transfers. Options – the Open Market Pension Transfer Service – was launched in October 2008 to provide an online system that enables information to be transferred between providers electronically rather than via post, to cut transfer times. The initiative will allow Nucleus IFA members to speed up pension and annuity transfer times for their clients. Since launch the average time taken to transfer funds and information between providers has fallen to 11 calendar days from a previous industry average of 31 days for Open Market Option transfers, and to 10 days from an industry average of 36 days for pension transfers (source: ABI*). Commenting on the initiative, Business Development Director at Nucleus, Barry Neilson said: “The pension transfer process has traditionally been a prolonged affair leaving clients waiting for weeks, even months, for their retirement income once a new pensions or annuity provider has been sourced. This initiative will enable IFA user-members to secure the maximum retirement income possible for clients with the minimum transfer time – a huge benefit for all concerned. “Nucleus has led the debate around the free movement of assets between platforms and this new initiative is consistent with that.  As a business we are committed to providing advisers and their clients with the best and most efficient service available and signing up to the Options initiative is part of this commitment.” *source...

Legal & General tops Nucleus charts

Legal & General’s Index Linked Gilt Trust was the fastest growing fund on the IFA-owned and controlled wrap platform Nucleus in April. The fund, a passively managed UK authorised unit trust, primarily invests in government and other public securities, with access to the entire index-linked gilt market.  According to the latest figures from the platform, the Legal & General Index Linked Gilt Trust, ranked second largest by value of holdings on the platform, has seen a surge of inflows throughout April and early May pushing it to the top of the charts and moving the Dimensional Global Short Bond into second place. The place of third fastest growing fund was taken by the Vanguard US Equity Index, a new entrant to the list. Whilst bond funds saw the greatest flow of assets on the platform in March, April has seen an increase in flows to equity funds with the M&G Recovery and BlackRock UK Dynamic funds featuring in the top ten fastest growing funds (see notes to editors for full list). Barry Neilson, business development director at Nucleus commented of the figures: “While best ‘selling’ funds are always of interest the really interesting thing about the list we have published is how different it is to those of platforms in the legacy space and indeed to the IMA sector inflows. This suggests the advisers using the Nucleus platform have a different approach to investment advice than the average adviser, something which is supported by the conversations we have with them and the outcomes of the platform’s investment committee chaired by Kenny McKenzie of Intelligent...

Strategic Asset Managers join Nucleus platform

Strategic Asset Managers Ltd, the Glasgow-based firm of independent financial advisers has announced it is to join the wrap proposition Nucleus.   With a combined 115 years in financial services, the advisory team of five specialise in providing advice on wealth management, tax mitigation, retirement and succession planning. As with all other existing member-IFAs, Strategic Asset Managers has taken an equity stake in Nucleus, becoming one of a growing number of high quality IFAs that want to take an active interest in the way their platform is run and develops in the future. Derek Stewart, Managing Director at Strategic Asset Managers commented: “Having looked closely over the last year at what is on offer in the platform space we felt that the Nucleus proposition was best placed to deliver the level of service and transparency our clients deserve and our business requires in the run up to, and before the implementation of, the RDR. “Being part of a community of like minded firms was a key factor in our decision to invest in the proposition – knowing that our interests are very much aligned with those of the other members and that together we could influence the future development and direction of the platform. “Another key factor in the decision was that Nucleus’ main business focus is on delivering an open, transparent wrap without other distractions leaving us to spend time looking after our clients. Essentially, we are working with colleagues at Nucleus rather than being employees of a provider, which is just the way we like it.” Barry Neilson, Business Development Director at Nucleus said: “Strategic Asset Managers...

Client communications heading online, say IFAs

The trend for IFAs to communicate electronically with clients is set to surge according to a poll of IFA firms by independent wrap platform Nucleus.     The findings, which are based on the views of 30 IFA firms representing 171 individual advisers, reveal that half of those questioned believe that the greatest shift in IFA/client communication over the next 12 months will be towards increased online contact.   The poll, which was carried out as part of a wider-reaching survey of advisers, also shows that although less than 6% of advisers currently consider their website to be a serious communication tool, over a quarter (27%) believe this will change with greater emphasis and effort being put into making it more efficient and effective for communicating with customers.   Whilst the results demonstrate that IFAs are increasingly looking for new ways to communicate effectively with their clients, it also highlights the importance advisers place in face to face communication, with over 40% of those surveyed feeling it remained the most important means of establishing and maintaining relationships with their clients.   Mike Deverell, Investment Manager of Equilibrium Asset Management and Nucleus member, commented on the results: “The days of a client being happy with the odd meeting and a letter or two over a 12 month period are well and truly over.  Clients want, expect and indeed deserve more regular and relevant contact and content from their financial adviser, and the most effective and efficient way for us to deliver information outside of our regular face to face meetings is...