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Liquid launch

AMP New Zealand has just poured out a new independent subsidiary liquid.co.nz, which has partnered with over 20 businesses to create what it says is the country's first broad-based financial services portal.

Thursday, March 8th 2001, 7:29PM

by Paul McBeth

AMP New Zealand has just poured out a new independent subsidiary liquid.co.nz, which has partnered with over 20 businesses to create what it says is the country's first broad-based financial services portal.

Savings and retirement products, loans, global investments, insurance, estate planning services and more are all available online along with basic financial information, news and research, goal planners, calculators and the like. Liquid's partners include Morningstar, Mike Pero Mortgages, Access Brokerage, Tower Managed Funds, Armstrong Jones and ANZ Funds Management as well as AMP Financial Services, AMP General Insurance and AMP Henderson Global Investors.

Liquid officially swam into town last night, with Managing Director Peter Larsen claiming that the breadth and depth of the services it offered made it unique. It follows on from other recent AMP e-business initiatives such as AMP Direct, which let people manage their relationship with AMP online, and online global wrap service InvestorNet.

Larsen said KPMG had audited the new website to check that it didn't favour any particular product or brand. Over 220 products are already available and more are in the pipeline.

And the target market? Net-savvy consumers, people who want and are confident enough to look after their own finances (an estimated 18 per cent of the population) and who are looking for "full online fulfilment". Nothing too salacious there, either; rather, they want to be able to browse, choose and actually buy financial products and services online with the minimum hassle.

Keeping Liquid sexy will be the challenge, but the company is already working on extra features such as live chat, personalised news feeds and business games as well as adding business partners and products. They're also tracking legal developments on digital signatures, "the implementation of which will close the loop for full online fulfilment for our life protection and money-making products".

Liquid states that people buying products through its website won't be disadvantaged on price, and may "on occasion" get more competitive prices than otherwise. It will make a living from commissions, as partners will pay Liquid a commission for any product or service of theirs bought through the website.

Paul is a staff writer for Good Returns based in Wellington.

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