Saturn brings KiwiSaver business into its orbit

Auckland-based financial planning group Saturn Advice has bought KiwiSaver adviser firm National Capital.

Sunday, September 12th 2021, 6:00PM

Saturn managing director John McConnell says KiwiSaver was the missing element of Saturn's business as it did not fit with their model.

All Saturn advisers are paid on a pure salary basis and the company does not accept any trial commission

"We are all about advice," McConnell says. "we couldn't do anything with KiwiSaver because of trail."

He said Saturn thought it would have a conflict of interest with KiwiSaver, and the model of charging $250 an hour for advice and letting the client implement the KiwiSaver advice didn't work.

National Capital, which was established three years, provides KiwiSaver research and advice.

McConnell says National Capital research now covers more than 200 KiwiSaver funds from 13 providers, and he hopes to have all KiwiSaver funds covered in the future.

National Capital's goal is to provide KiwiSaver advice to one million New Zealanders. Recently it reported that it has $30 million of funds under management, but has not disclosed how many members it provided advice too.

Based on the average KiwiSaver balance of $20,195, National Capital would  have just under 1500 clients.

National Capital says much of its growth has come from referrals by existing client base.

“We expect to reach a hundred million of funds under advice soon," National Capital director Clive Fernandes says. "The amount of money we are advising on is simply a reflection on the number of Kiwis who are making an active and educated choice on how to invest their money.”

“Word of mouth is very important to us, so we are thankful to our clients who are recommending us to friends and family. It’s reassuring to know that people are having more conversations about their finances with those around them and are making better decisions for themselves and their future by doing so,” Fernandes says.

McConnell says adding a digital advice service to the business is a challenge. Financial advice has been done "much the same way for almost forever." That is people getting out and working with clients.

Digital advice is about "technology and disruption."

The way KiwiSaver was set up has made it hard to give advice, he says, but the National Capital model is showing advice can be given to KiwiSaver members using technology.

Tags: National Capital Saturn

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