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James Brearley looks to shake up market with platform launch

Stockbroker James Brearley & Sons is seeking to shake up the platform market with the launch of its Pro Icon dealing platform for wealth managers and intermediaries looking to outsource.

The firm has partnered with MBA Systems to develop the online valuation and dealing service, which offers a range of bespoke investment management facilities.

These include white-labelling and a multi-order suite, which means a similar trade can be placed across a range of clients or a number of trades for the same client. Its ‘Order Import’ facility allows an intermediary to upload instructions saved within an Excel spreadsheet for execution.

The firm has offered custody and dealing services to its clients and a handful of third parties since the 1990s, but is now opening the proposition to the broader market, particularly in light of the forthcoming retail distribution review (RDR).

James Brearley director David Hannis said: ‘We are dealing specialists, so there aren’t the same restrictions that some platforms have in terms of what we can deal in. For example, we cover foreign securities, exchange traded funds, equities, investment trusts and funds.’

Clients can opt for an RDR-ready pricing structure, offering a rebate of all trail arrangements, no dealing charges and a flat annual fee of 25 basis points (bps), alongside a flat dealing charge of £25 per trade, which comes with a maximum rebate of 50bps.

Hannis said: ‘Intermediaries may simply wish to provide their clients with an online valuation service, linked
to up-to-date news on listed securities or relative performance and portfolio content, in the case of collective investment scheme holdings. Our clients also appreciate the user friendliness of the dealing related tools and functionality, which are based on the same system utilised within our portfolio management service. 

‘Clients, in turn, can provide a more tailored and branded service to their own clients. This includes the ability to create their own wrap structure, centred on the evolving range of sub-custodian arrangements we have with a large number of Sipps, Ssas administrators and offshore insurance companies.’

Hannis said that with £750 million under custody, the firm had attracted assets from advisers alongside a number of wealth management operations over the past few years. Unlike some of the larger platforms, Pro Icon is not focused solely on volumes as it is more service-oriented, he said.

‘Pro Icon has been built and designed by portfolio managers, not technology-oriented individuals who are not close to the practical side of portfolio management.’

The firm has also partnered with Funds Library to give users access to its fund research and Portfolio X-Ray Tool.

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