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CFS puts its clients first with new MDA products

In Practice

Australian wealth management giant Colonial First State (CFS) has joined forces with some of Australia’s leading research firms to offer financial advisers access to professionally constructed managed account portfolios. And the best part, it comes with no added portfolio construction costs.

  • It’s the first sign that the vertical integration problems that plagued the big banks are finally starting to break down. Large institutions continue to respond to adviser feedback while bringing down the cost of advice and maintaining a high-quality investment solution.

    This week, CFS will make 23 new managed accounts specialist portfolios available via the group’s $76 billion FirstChoice Personal Super and Pension platforms. Here are the MDAs:

    • Lonsec Active (6 risk profiles)
    • Morningstar Core (6 risk profiles)
    • Morningstar Active (6 risk profiles)
    • Zenith Active (5 risk profiles)

    The launch of FirstChoice Managed Accounts Specialist Portfolios come at a time when the wealth management space has undergone regulatory change and is transitioning into a new era void of vertical integration, while also facing intense cost and compliance pressures.

    One of the main findings of the Banking Royal Commission was that the big financial institutions allowed advisers to sell financial products that they had also manufactured. This led to various conflicts of interest primarily because it didn’t necessarily put the client’s interests first.

    Bryce Quirk, chief distribution officer at Colonial First State, says: “Through our new arrangements we’re packaging up the best investment insights while at the same time helping clients save on fees paid for accessing the managed account structure and professional portfolio management,  typically between 10-to-30 basis points per annum.”

    Covid-19 was a bit of a reminder for many to reassess their financial situation while they had time. Quirk goes on to say CFS is “focused on finding ways to help advisers come up with more streamlined, more cost-effective solutions that keep the cost of investing as low as possible so that more people can access advice.”

    The new products provide CFS with the flexibility, convenience and transparency of a managed account with the simplicity and efficiency of the FirstChoice platform. Fees and costs of the underlying investment options are charged, but no additional managed account fee, platform fees or implementation costs will apply.

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