ProQuest embarks on expansion

By Kate Kachor

RISK profiling group ProQuest is close to signing deals with four financial services groups in moves that will expand its Australian presence as well as launching its brand in the lucrative US market.

ProQuest managing director Geoff Davey says the group has been actively seeking partners with distribution and technology capabilities Australia wide, as well as concentrating on raising around $500,000 of capital.

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Davey says he has spent the past few months in talks with four different types of interested groups, many of them specialising as adviser network groups, industry services groups, software development groups and research houses.

Although Davey could not release names as deals are still being finalised, he did say that by next month a number of software development groups and research houses could be signed to the group.

“I would think between now and November is when we would finalise the deals,” Davey says.

“It has been happening in the background within the last couple of months. We expect to have alliances and capital by the end of November, if not earlier,” he says.

Still within its Australian expansion plans, Davey says ProQuest is also keen to form alliances with investment technology (IT) companies.

“Even before the FPA’s recent statement on risk profiling, over recent months we have been approached by several systems providers and planning networks looking for a practical, robust, state-of-the-art methodology for dealing with risk tolerance testing in needs-based planning,” he says.

As for offshore opportunities, Davey says ProQuest was set to launch its US presence earlier this month, however, with the events of September 11 and the FPA convention in San Diego being cancelled, the group has put back its launch. A new launch date has been slated for December 1, however, not even that date has been confirmed.

“ProQuest lodged its US patent application nearly three years ago. We have been building pre-launch relationships in the US for more than two years,” Davey says.

“Our planned October launch has been deferred temporarily to December/January while US advisers adjust to recent events and new environment,” he adds.

Davey says US advisers have been using ProQuest on a trial basis for the past 12 months. He says when the US launch gets underway it will start with a pilot program that will be open to all US advisers who want to trial. Davey says there will be some tweaking of the pilot program, due to differences in Australian and American terminology.

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