CFS rolls out platform analytics to 120 firms

CFS products and investments general manager Peter Chun.


By Julie May

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Colonial First State (CFS) has provided analytical data to more than 100 aligned and non-aligned financial planning practices and dealer groups using its FirstChoice and FirstWrap platforms.

CFS products and investments general manager Peter Chun told financialobserver in October that the group was in an ideal position to provide advisers with data analytics based on information derived through its platforms, which would give a broad overview of market trends.

Chun yesterday told the publication in an exclusive interview that CFS had rolled out the data to 120 businesses to date, with more set to follow.

He said there were about 7000 users across CFS’s platforms, but analytics were most relevant to about 2000 of those users, specifically advisers whose primary or secondary platform was a CFS platform.

Chun highlighted the reason platform data was more valuable to those who had more than half of their business with CFS platforms was because it gave them a more accurate view of their overall client base as opposed to those who might only have 10 per cent of their business with CFS.

“We have a lot of intelligence to help our key clients compare their businesses,” he said, pointing to the CFS FirstChoice and FirstWrap platforms comprising $100 billion in funds under administration.

In addition, there were around 15,000 advisers working in the Australian market and 40 per cent of those used CFS platforms, which was the highest in terms of platform market share, according to recent data from Investment Trends, he said.

“[The analytical] ‘Business DNA’ reports provide practices and licensees with an overview of their clients in regard to location, demographics, client segments and product types,” he said.

The data provided an overview of a firm’s client base and also provided a like-for-like comparison with other financial planning businesses, he added.

“Because we have such a large volume of member and asset data, we can help businesses to identify trends and numerous opportunities for growth through various benchmarking,” he said.

“As an example, we can break down demographics and show while 20 per cent of clients within a certain age bracket at one practice may have life insurance, the proportion of that demographic at a different firm holding life insurance could be hovering closer to the 40 per cent mark.

“Data can therefore help to identify customer needs as well as drive revenue opportunities.

“[Further to that,] we’re able to provide five-year forecasts so advisers are aware of things such as ageing client bases and what they can be doing to think about growing younger client segments, and we can also project future balances to help them demonstrate the revenue that they charge.”

He said that the platform analytics, which were currently presented in a hard-copy report format with some electronic components, would be available via a new iPad tool later this year.

“Platform analytics is just one of a series of initiatives we’re rolling out in order to be more of a partner to the financial advice community rather than just a provider,” he said, pointing to the upcoming launch of annuities and the group’s further exploration of greater managed account capabilities.

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