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Wither now for Flint Wealth's platform?

There has to be some question over the Flint Wealth management platform's future after Harbour Asset Management and Grace Sterling subsidiary Trustees Executors apparently refused to continue funding it.

Wednesday, April 17th 2024, 3:33AM 1 Comment

by Jenny Ruth

Both organisations had already written off their investments in Formosa Wealth, Flint's parent company, but the current situation is being described as a change in ownership.

Australia-based Research IP is now Formosa's sole owner, although Harbour has said that its funds will continue to be available to Flint clients and “we look forward to working closely with the Flint team on an ongoing basis.”

Flint claims to have more than 120 funds from 13 managers on its platform, which it is offering to investment advisers as a “white label” product.

In March, Research IP co-founder Darren Howlin said Flint was looking for new equity partners and had been talking to other fund managers about potential capital injections.

Neither Howlin nor the other co-founder, Oliver Trusler, responded to Good Returns' requests for comment.

Harbour's accounts for calendar 2022 showed the value of its share of the Formosa joint venture as nil, down from $200,000 in each of 2021 and 2021, but the accounts didn't say how much of Formosa it owned.

Asked whether any money changed hands in exchange for Harbour's stake, managing director Andrew Bascand said Harbour has “several agreements running forward with Research IP, including their providing Flint services to Harbour and Harbour's listing our funds on the Flint Platform.

“In broad terms, whilst money may have changed hands, those transactions are confidential and to all intents and purposes de minimis to the potential value of the provision of services and the ongoing relationship,” Bascand said.

“There's not much to publish from our account here, other than we helped get Flint to a full operational model and I think that the substantial 'ownership' is now better in the hands of the folk who will be running the business.”

Trustees Executors said it is “proud to have supported the development of the platform” and that “we are excited to announce that Research IP, the founders, will take the platform forward into a new investment phase and development.”

Grace Sterling's accounts for the year ended Sept 30, 2023 showed it had invested nearly $4.2 million in Formosa but had written it down to nil.

The level of investment a year earlier had been more than $2.6 million.

The share of venture loss in 2023 was more than $3 million, up from nearly $2 million the previous year, and impairment of the investment of more than $1.1 million in 2023 brought the value of the investment down to nil.

The 2023 accounts said Trustees Executors owned 41.26%, up from 37.55% in 2022 and a one-third share in each of the 2021 and 2020 accounts.

Tags: Harbour Asset Management

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Comments from our readers

On 17 April 2024 at 6:34 am Pragmatic said:
Ultimately any technology solution requires an audience, with the platform business already well supported in the NZ industry. Whilst I applaude the disruptive ambitions of the Flint project, the NZ financial services industry is well entrenched with existing platform solutions, with consumers more familiar with entities such as Sharesies & InvestNow

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