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FundSource's former qual man returns with new service

Darren Howlin, who formerly provided the qualitative analysis for FundSource and its awards, is setting up a new fund research business in New Zealand.

Wednesday, October 2nd 2019, 1:00PM

NZX sold its subsidiary research business FundSource in a long and drawn-out process to Melbourne-based Zenith earlier this year.

However, it did not renew its qualitative research arrangement with Howlin and his business Research IP. Howlin conducted manager research and analysis for FundSource. 

Now NZX has sold the business Research IP is set to launch its expanded New Zealand operation this month.

"After four years of supporting the NZX’s FundSource operations producing all qualitative reports and powering the FundSource Awards, Research IP has a strong understanding of the New Zealand wealth management scene and is now set to launch its expanded product set into the market," Howlin says.

Research IP’s launch will include 58 managed fund qualitative research reports and over 700 one page snapshots which form the New Zealand investment universe. Research IP

Howlin says Research IP will have a core offering that is freely available to financial advisers and direct investors. This will enable people to have access to key information and ratings, helping them to make important investment decisions. The only requirement to access the service is an email address.

Research IP will be adding further features to its research platform to further support financial advisers over the next six months.

The company is now supported by 12 technology and investment professionals based in Australia and Taiwan. Howlin said “Research IP will be making some further announcements relating to the growing team behind our operation. We have attracted some amazing talent with some very capable and highly respected team members, with a strong understanding of the New Zealand marketplace”.

Research IP has also been operating in Taiwan since 2013, led by Kevin Kan who drives the technology strategy for the group. Kan returned to Taipei after 14 years in Australia and heads Research IP's sister company Square One Research.

Kan and Howlin have been working together for almost a decade, initially at Lonsec Research, MPF Ratings and Super Ratings, and now through Square One Research and Research IP.

Square One Research and Research IP are key partners in the Taiwan Government’s voluntary top up retirement saving system called the Fund Rich Service (FRS). Since launching in January 2017, the FRS has grown to US$2B; with over 140,000 active investors using the service. Over 35% of users have fortnightly or monthly regular savings plans linked to their accounts. 

Research IP also provides consulting services to Australian financial advice groups and financial advisers, with over $2 billion under advice and growing. Over $600 million of this is invested via managed accounts, with the balance residing in advice group approved products.

Howlin said “With the regulatory landscape constantly changing, financial advice groups are now bolstering investment committees with independent experts like us. We don’t just sit on an investment committee, we assist advisers to solve and implement systems and services which allows financial advisers do what they do best; help their clients, rather than filling their day with administration.

Tags: FundSource research Research IP

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