You are here: AdviserArchive: June 2012

Archive: June 2012

This page is for Professional Financial Advisers only Latest from Cofunds - week commencing 11 June 2012

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Updated disclosure documents

You're now able to set up segments on Cofunds. This enables you to group and segregate your clients to reflect the services you offer. We've also updated our disclosure literature to reflect this enhanced service, effective 18 June 2012.

We've split the Terms & Conditions of the Cofunds Platform to cater for your advised and self-directed clients. You'll need to provide these documents to your clients if you change their segment online or if you set up a trade for them from 18 June.

Our disclosure suite has been improved as a result of consumer testing and feedback. Your Guide to Investing with Cofunds is being replaced with advised and self-directed versions of the Cofunds Platform Key Information Document, which is a concise and user-friendly explanation of the key facts your clients need to know before they invest on Cofunds.

The Adviser Agreement and the Service Level Agreement have been merged into Your Agreement with Cofunds, which sets out all the terms that apply to advisers/intermediaries in one place.

None of the changes made are detrimental to you or your clients; they're simply to bring our disclosure documents in line with the improvements we've made.

The changes are effective from 18 June 2012.

Client segmentation is just around the corner

We'll shortly be launching our client segmentation functionality - which can play a central role in your client servicing plans. Using the simple segmentation process and fee models, your firm can set up one or multiple client segments - and assign different or the same levels of service to each. It's simple, it's flexible and it puts you in charge.

No need to worry

Although clients will need to be segmented in order to trade - we've set up a standard segment which you can use if your firm is yet to decide on their post-RDR service proposition.

You'll be prompted to assign your 'advised' clients (i.e. clients who advisers provide financial advice to - see the 'Other changes you need to know' section below) next time you trade on their behalf.

Segment administrators within your firm are able to create, amend and delete segments. However, if no segments have been set up you're able to assign them to the 'Standard Advised' segment we've set up for you.

If your clients have access to their investments online, they'll be asked to confirm that they accept new Terms and Conditions when they next log in. Once confirmed they'll be automatically assigned to a default segment*. This will ensure that there will be no disruption to a client's ability to manage their investments.

There's a lot more information about segmentation on our RDR webpage.

*We've been working with those firms who offer this service to create a B2C default segment that meets the requirements of each business.

Changes to the document centre

Our documentation is being split to reflect whether a client is advised or self-directed and to make it easier, we're changing the way they look so it's clear which to use for each advice type.

You'll be able to tell if an application form or disclosure document is for self-directed clients as it'll have a black band across the top and clearly state 'Self-directed'.

Application forms and disclosure documentation for advised clients will not have the black band and will be labelled 'Advised'.

Sales aids and factsheets will state at the top whether they're only for advised or self-directed clients.

In all cases, if the piece of literature doesn't specify any restriction, you can be confident it's appropriate for any client.

Please ensure that you provide clients with the correct documentation for their advice types.

Because of these changes, any links to documents saved as favourites within your web browser will no longer work and you'll have to replace them with new links.

Other changes you need to know

  • What we mean by 'Advised' and 'Self-Directed'

    As part of the RDR, you'll be unable to be paid commission for any new advised business from 31 December 2012 - as a result you'll need to record whether a trade has been placed on behalf of an 'advised' client.

    Advised clients are those advisers provide personalised financial advice.

    Self-directed clients are those who make their own investment decisions and carry out transactions on Cofunds via the services of an intermediary without receiving advice.

    New self-directed clients can invest in investment funds and ISAs but can't take out a bond or a pension as advice is required for these products.

    Important - Joint account holders

    Joint account holders must be of the same advice type (i.e. all advised or all self-directed). If the advice type is changed for one account holder, other holders should also be changed.

    If one holder is enhancing their advice type from self-directed to advised on their single holding, but don't wish the joint holding to also change, a new client record will need to be created to service them.

  • Changes to the way you charge your clients fees

    The way you assign your clients to a fee model is moving online. You'll also be able to take a one-off advice fee online too.

    When assigning a client to a segment online, you'll also be able to assign them to a fee model. Any fee models currently set up will be available online, provided that they have been made available within that segment by your segment administrator.

    You'll be able to take a one-off advice fee online, either as part of the trade process or on an ad hoc basis. You can also define the precise percentage of a fee that is related to advice and is therefore subject to VAT.

    We'll shortly be replacing the existing Adviser Remuneration and Trail Rebate form with a One-off Advice Fee form and a Trail Rebate Application form.

    Old fee application forms will still be accepted for four weeks after the launch of our new functionality - keep an eye out for further details.

  • Changes to bond and pension application forms

    Self-directed clients can't take out a bond or pension as advice is required. As a result, we're updating our bond and pension application forms.

    Old bond and pension forms will still be accepted for three weeks after the launch of our new functionality. We'll be unable to process any old-style application forms we receive after this point and you'll receive a rejection notification - keep an eye out for further details.

  • Changes to the Cofunds Consolidation Assistant

    From early July, there will be two versions of the Cofunds Consolidation Assistant enabling your firm to cater for advised or self-directed clients.

    If you're looking to run a campaign for both advised and self-directed clients, you'll need to ensure that each campaign is run separately. Please note - you're unable to run both versions of the CCA on the same computer.

  • Coming soon - Segmentation and fees FAQs and step by step guides

    The launch of our new functionality will mean a change to the way your business manages their clients on the platform.

    Help is at hand - our RDR pages already have lots of information on the changes including online demonstrations and the 'Segmenting clients on Cofunds' user guide. Shortly you'll also find a library of frequently asked questions as well as new 'How do I?' sections providing you with step-by-step guides on how to use all the new functionality.

Corporate actions

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