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IFAs face 3-day blackout in May during Cofunds upgrade

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IFAs face 3-day blackout in May during Cofunds upgrade

Aegon has said it will migrate the Cofunds retail book to a new, enhanced Aegon platform over the first bank holiday weekend in May.

Cofunds advisers will be able to use the platform up to 5pm on Friday 4 May before a three-day blackout when the migration will take place.

The weekend was chosen after Aegon’s advisory board asked the company to avoid the busy run-up to tax year end. The Aegon board agreed scheduling the upgrade over a long weekend, when markets are closed for an extended period, would be the best timing.

Aegon bought the £77.5 billion Cofunds platform from Legal & General in August 2016 and has been working since then to integrate the two retail investment platforms.

The enhanced Aegon platform will include features from Cofunds and, according to the company, will have an 'intuitive' adviser portal as well as additional propositional features including a broader investment range and a reduction in paper processes.

While Cofunds clients will be migrated on to the enhanced platform, based on GBST technology, over the three days in May those currently using the Aegon platform will be migrated on to the new version later in the year. A spokesman said the company had not yet set a date for second stage of the migration.

Mark Till (pictured), Aegon’s chief distribution and marketing officer, thanked the advisory board for their time and effort.

‘We are very grateful for the time and effort given by the 30 adviser firms who have been closely involved in shaping our plans. We are now in a position to combine the best of both the existing platforms, on Aegon’s technology.

‘Advisers have received communications confirming the date and the benefits they can expect from the new service,’ he said.

Aviva’s FNZ-based platform went through a similar blackout followed by an upgrade at the beginning of this year but ran in to trouble when the lights came back on and key functionality was not there such as client income payments.In February Andy Briggs, Aviva's Insurance chief executive, apologised for the problems in an email to advisers and said complications were 'inevitable'.

'Migrating to a new platform is a highly complex process, which means some issues are inevitable during this time, however, I wanted to assure you that we are taking this extremely seriously and we have teams working around the clock to resolve this as quickly as possible, prioritising the most critical and potentially disruptive issues first, and in fact many of these have already been fixed,' he said. 

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