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NZFP's AMP ties cut next month

NZ Financial Planning expects to have completed its transition to its new platform, and away from AMP, by the middle of next month.

Wednesday, October 1st 2014, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

The firm, which has its roots in IPD Securities – one of the first professional advisory firms in New Zealand – announced in April that it was cutting ties with AMP.

It has between $260 million and $300 million of funds under management, which had been sitting on the former AXA-owned platform Assure.

NZFP contracted one of its former advisers, Mark Wooster, to build a new platform to replace Assure.

Co-director and NZFP Principal Jordi Garcia said the decision had been made as a way to maintain the firm’s independence. “We were finding with the current platform that we’d lost some of that independence. It was a take it or leave it situation.”

While many small advisor practices are moving to the shelter of big firms like AMP to help with compliance and regulatory requirements, Garcia said NZFP was big enough for that not to be a concern.

“We have economies of scale that allow us to be able to sit down and do what we want to for clients, with a bit more impartiality.”

Garcia said NZFP had been having increasingly less say in how the platform was being run and the cost of the administrative and back office support that came with it was increasing.

“We found it expensive but inflexible”

NZFP’s strategic direction was that rather than align with a big institution, it would focus on standing alone, Garcia said. “Some clients might not like it but some do. Most clients deal with us as individuals, a firm that promotes working for clients’ best interests.”

The transition was expected to be complete by mid-November, Garcia said.

Two NZFP advisers, Greg Moyle and Paul Harvey, established a new company Financial Planning New Zealand, and are staying with AMP.

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