IOOF completed one of the largest client transfers in wealth management last weekend with over 55,000 clients and $17.5 billion worth of funds migrating onto its proprietary superannuation and investments technology platform, Evolve.
In June IOOF completed the first tranche of the transfer, with around 38,000 clients and $5B worth of funds hosted on the IPS, Lifetrack and IOOF Pursuit Focus platforms sitting on its old Orion technology suite shifting to the new IOOF Essential and eXpand platforms hosted on its contemporary Evolve environment.
IOOF had just under $20B of client FUM already sitting in the Evolve suite before the two major transfers. With the migration of its legacy platforms and products complete, IOOF now has 275,000 clients and around $41B in FUM sitting on the its vaunted technology hub.
While phase one was about getting the simpler, shorter-menu platforms onto the new suite, IOOF’s head of distribution Mark Oliver says the second phase involved bringing over the full-functionality IOOF Pursuit Select wrap platform.
“The second migration was almost entirely IOOF Pursuit Select,” Oliver tells Professional Planner. “This is the more complex end of IOOF Pursuit.”
Using its size
Converging two operating environments of this scale is a giant step for IOOF, whose CEO Renato Mota spoke of the importance of having the right operating suite for advisers as part of its broader Advice 2.0 restructure at the August AGM.
At the time Mota spoke of the group’s search for synergies and scale being at “critical mass”, the inference being that IOOF’s development would pivot from the efforts involved in attracting and onboarding over 400 MLC advisers, to then defining and improving the environment around the whole advice cohort.
After a period of expansion that started with the migration of ANZ advisers back in 2018 and involved a concerted period of disruption as well as a discombobulated suite of advice technology and investment platforms, the group is understandably pleased to have both its aligned and service-only advisers (or open-market advisers, in IOOF speak) using a consolidated proprietary platform hub.
“Platforms and products are key parts of enabling great advice,” Oliver says. “There’s a lot of variation out there and we see a great opportunity to use scale in both of those areas. The completion of these transitions has been a major step in that direction.”
While talking up the benefits of scale, Oliver shares Mota’s awareness that advisers won’t be assuming the benefits are there just because IOOF has a big headcount. The pressure is on IOOF to deliver on its promise to show how well it can use its size.
“There’s a big difference between mass and scale,” he says. “This gives us the ability to deliver scale.”
That scale is also set to benefit consumers, with a reported 61 per cent of transferred clients set to receive fee discounts.
The next stage for the wealth management giant involves looking outside its proprietary technology stack and addressing the legacy platforms it received as part of ANZ and MLC deals, Oliver says.
“Obviously having now completed an important step for the heritage IOOF products we turn our minds to the product roadmap for the acquired MLC and ANZ pension and investment products such as MLC Wrap, Navigator and Masterkey, plus the ANZ OneAnswer products.”
The work will involve “simplifying” and “uplifting” some of those legacy products, he adds.
“We’ll continue to develop that roadmap with a strong belief in owning the technology and delivering great experiences.”