Benchmark Capital’s platform Fusion Wealth has extended its partnership with SEI for another seven years as the pair gear up for growth from Lloyds’ advice return.
Fusion Wealth has used SEI as its custodian for the past seven years and the duo have now signed a deal which will last until 2025. The pair are also planning a number of upgrades to their technology offering.
Last month Lloyds announced it would be creating a new financial advice joint venture (JV) with Schroders which will see 300 Lloyds advisers moved to the JV along with £13 billion of assets from the existing Lloyds wealth management division.
The Fusion Wealth platform, along with Benchmark’s back-office and CRM systems, will be used by Lloyds’ advisers when the JV is created next year.
SEI Wealth Platform managing director Brett Williams (pictured) said the Lloyds venture is ‘exciting’ for both SEI and Benchmark – which was recently bought by Schroders.
‘We [SEI] have had a very strong relationship with Benchmark which has now become stronger. We are now are excited about the Lloyds-Schroders venture, with Benchmark powering the front-end and we are sitting behind. It is the concept we have been talking about for some time and the scale of it is really exciting for both businesses.’
Lloyds is aiming to be a top-three UK financial advice business in the UK in the next five years which would mean it would have to reach at least £25 billion of assets.
Ian Cooke, Benchmark’s chief executive, said SEI and Benchmark are also bringing out new platform tools, which will include a tax optimisation button which will use an algorithm to tell advisers and clients which tax wrappers they should be using for their assets to maximise tax efficiency.
He added Benchmark is keen to grow its direct-to-consumer offering, by increasing the platform functions so clients who don’t want to see an adviser regularly can do things for themselves using the platform tools.
Cooke said Lloyds advisers would get pricing discounts for the Benchmark technology based on the volume of business they place.
‘We largely use the same pricing structure across the group; as you put more volume on the price goes down. The same would apply for Lloyds; the more scalable the business, then obviously pricing can adjust.’
He added that advisers within Benchmark’s Best Practice network and national IFA Aspect8 would never move across to the Lloyds JV.
Cooke said he expects the Lloyds JV to use a combination of advisers in branches, through its head-office and with digital services.