Web solution for KiwiSaver advice conundrum

Clients are already starting to trickle into a new online KiwiSaver advice service, according to Conor Sligo, one of the firm's directors.

Wednesday, August 27th 2008, 6:49AM

by David Chaplin

"We've had 10 clients sign up today and a similar number every day [since launching," Sligo said. "A lot of people are finding us using a search engine but many others are also finding out about us through their workplace."

KiwiSelect, which launched earlier this month, takes clients through a simple online risk-profiling tool that then matches them up with a number of suitable KiwiSaver funds.

Sligo said the system currently only feeds into KiwiSaver funds offered by the six default providers but there are plans afoot to expand the investment menu.

"We'll see what the users want before adding more products," he said.

At the moment KiwiSelect also only uses KiwiSaver funds that have been researched by the NZX-owned FundSource, which provides information on only a limited number of providers, however, Sligo said non-rated funds could be considered in the future. It is understood FundSource charges providers a fee of up to $20,000 to rate KiwiSaver funds.

According to Sligo, KiwiSelect fills a major gap in the market with many individuals unsure of where to seek advice about KiwiSaver.

"There's been a lot of publicity about KiwiSaver but a lot of people don't know much about it," he said. "We found most people didn't even know they could pick their own KiwiSaver fund."

KiwiSelect was created by Wellington advisers Sligo, Tim von Dadelszen and Mark Solomon, who have been running an online insurance advisory business, Inform Financial Services, for the last three years.

According to its disclosure statement, KiwiSelect receives and ongoing fee of between 20-30 basis points for KiwiSaver funds placed through its service. As well the business is also paid an upfront fee of $50 per fund from several of the providers on its list.

If its own internal complaints process has failed, KiwiSelect also lists the chief executive of the Professional Advisors Association as the contact person for further dispute resolution queries.

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