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Flint: The platform of mystery

Online fund platform Flint Wealth says things are going well but won't disclose how much funds it has on platform.

Friday, April 26th 2024, 1:03PM

by Jenny Ruth

The Flint Wealth's founders say a large financial advisory firm is already using the Flint platform and another fund manager is about to start using it as a “white label” service.

However, co-founders Darren Howlin and Oliver Trusler refuse to say how much people have invested into funds on the Flint platform.

Good Returns pointed out that other platforms, including InvestNow and Sharesies, do provide such information and suggested Flint's refusal must mean its platform isn't doing well.

Flint “is a very different proposition to InvestNow and Sharesies. Accordingly, we do not draw comparisons to them in the marketplace,” Trusler says.

“As white label solutions are a contractual partnership, we do not intend to make comments relating to those arrangements without the prior consent of each white label partner. That includes the FUM of those arrangements,” he said.

Flint does continue to onboard new direct-to-consumer (D2C) clients daily, despite it not conducting any direct marketing of the platform, and this is the result of “ simply word of mouth.”

Trusler wouldn't name the financial advisory firm using Flint.

“It's a large, prominent national advice group,” Trusler says, “it's not a small, single-man advice firm.”

Advice firms can choose to access the about 130 funds currently available on the platform for their clients while fund managers can also use the platform to make only their own funds available to potential clients without having to use registry services to do the back-office processing, including complying with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act.

Flint can make its platform “lood and feel” like an advisory firm or fund manager, Trusler says.

All the major NZ fund managers, including Milford Asset Management, Fisher Funds Management, Devon Funds and Castle Point Funds Management, have their funds listed on the Flint platform, he says.

Trusler says using the Flint platform can lower fund managers' costs sufficiently that they can lower the minimum investment levels they require.

The partners said Flint has no immediate need for additional capital to continue running its existing operations, although it is also exploring alternative expansion opportunities.

The investment to date and the revenue Flint is earning are sufficient to keep the platform running.

Last week, GoodReturns reported that the founders' joint-venture partners, Harbour Asset Management and Grace Sterling subsidiary Trustees Executors had apparently refused to continue funding Flint and have relinquished their shareholdings in Flint's owner, Formosa Wealth, after writing off their investments.

Trusler says he and Howlin would like to find new capital partners to fund expansion, possibly into Australia or to launch a KiwiSaver offering – Trusler and Howlin are based in Australia, although they say they developed the technology in Taiwan where they say it continues to be used.

Tags: Flint

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