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The Lowdown on Zurich

In this week’s Wrap Fact File, we look at the Zurich platform

BUSINESS INFORMATION
Advice firms using the platform:

Over 500

Clients registered on the platform:

Not supplied

Assets under administration:

£23.9 billion

Financial backers:

Zurich Insurance Group

Net inflows for 2016

£3.3billion

Pre-tax profits:

2016: £119 million (Zurich UK Life)

CHARGES
Platform charges are tiered, with the first band of assets held charged at an initial percentage rate and subsequent bands at lower percentage rates.
Core charging structure:
  • Up to £100,000: 0.35%
  • £100,000 to £250,000: 0.30%
  • £250,000 to £1 million: 0.27%
  • More than £1 million: 0.22%
Extra charges:

£75 charge for money held in a Retirement Account, but no charges for any other account.

Does the platform offer discounted share classes?

No

Does the platform offer unit rebates?

Zurich has negotiated away initial fund costs and secured discounts to the ongoing charge where possible. These are available as super clean share classes, with around 200 available for clients.

INVESTMENTS
How many funds are available?

Over 3,300 funds from more than 150 fund managers.

What are the top 10 selling funds on the platform in the past quarter?
Undisclosed
Which discretionary fund managers (DFMs) are available through the platform?

Brewin Dolphin, Charles Stanley, LGT Vestra Wealth, Liontrust, Square Mile, Quilter Cheviot, Rowan Dartington, Octopus, Morningstar, Apollo, Bordier & Cie, Seven Investment Management, and TCF Wealth Management.

Can DFMs access the platform to run client money?

Yes, DFMs can create and manage numerous models of their choice.

Does the platform allow access to exchangetraded funds?

Yes, through the Winterflood stockbroking service.

WRAPPERS
  • ISA
  • Investment Account
  • Pensions (Retirement Account)
  • Cash Account
  • Onshore bond
  • Offshore bond
Who are the wrapper providers?

Platform operator Sterling ISA Managers Limited provides the ISAs, the Investment Account, the Retirement Account and the Cash Account. The offshore bond is provided by Zurich Life Assurance, part of the Zurich group of companies.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Access
Can clients access the platform online (i.e. separate from their adviser)?

Yes, advisers can give their clients view-only online access to the platform, enabling clients to see the accounts they hold, how their investments are performing and the transactions they have made.

Can clients execute their own investments?

No, important decisions such as switching funds and deciding on investment choices are actions that clients should discuss with and perform through their professional adviser.

Does the platform offer an app?

No

Tools

Pension freedom planner, retirement planner, investment planner, fund risk assessor, attitude to risk profiler, individual fund performance, price, risk ratings and charges, comparison report, portfolio scan, model portfolio analyser.

Re-registration
From which wrappers can assets be re-registered in specie?

An electronic re-registration process in partnership with ORIGO Options enables existing assets to be transferred as units or shares, rather than cash.

What is the average time taken for in specie re-registration?

Six to 10 working days

Does the platform make any charges for in specie re-registration at platform or wrapper level?

No charge for re-registration of mutual funds.

Cash
Does the platform offer a cash account?

Yes

Does the platform take interest on client cash?

0% interest is currently payable to the client on cash holdings. Zurich reserves the right to retain up to 0.1% of any interest received.

What is the platform’s policy when the cash account is empty?

An automatic disinvestment strategy, in which Zurich will deduct assets in line with the process agreed between the client and their adviser.

Technology tie-ups
Who provides the technology for the platform?

FNZ and Vermeg.

Which other tech providers does the platform work with? (e.g. cashflow tools)

EValue and FE Analytics.

Which back-office providers does the platform integrate with?

Intelliflo, Distribution Technology, IRESS (Adviser Office/XPLAN), Enable (Best Practice/Creative Technology), 2Plan/Figure Out Limited, Plum Software, Durell.

Does the platform offer a white-labelling service?

Yes, the adviser portal can be branded with a firm’s own logo, images and colours at no additional cost.

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