CFS announces adviser upgrades

Colonial First State (CFS) has announced a range of changes to the way it provides services to advisers in the wake of the suite of regulatory changes, technological developments, and shifting consumer needs.

Speaking at an adviser briefing yesterday, CFS general manager, product and investments, Peter Chun said the firm was introducing new application tools to facilitate immediate online set up of client accounts, as well as launching a range of managed account solutions on its FirstWrap.

Chun noted the increased regulator changes had placed a strain on advice businesses while the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms had brought increased focus on efficiency and risk management.

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"It makes it more challenging for you to service your clients in a scalable way and manage your bottom line," he said, adding advisers had provided feedback on how the dependence on paper and signatures slowed down processes.

CFS announced it would launch E-Set Up later this year on its FirstNet Adviser portal, which would instantly set up clients' accounts and deliver confirmation, and clients could make a contribution and payment immediately. The facility requires electronic signatures, and clients would receive a verification code via SMS.

"We've addressed a key pain point in our industry: having to re-enter client data from the planning software and then re-entering it into the platform," he said.

Chun also said CFS would launch a range of managed account solutions on FirstWrap in early 2017, while increasingly integrating with CommSec.

The managed account structures on CFS' platforms currently totalled $5 billion and comprised around 25 per cent of its wrap business.

CFS was also partnering with the University of Technology Sydney to build an engine that would generate data and analytics for advisers to better service their clients.

"In our view the platforms of the future will be those that can facilitate bionic advice. Approach this as an extension of your business by augmenting the irreplaceable human advice that you provide with technology such as data and analytics," Chun said.

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