Business News

Westpac makes its SMSF mark

Westpac has demonstrated its significant presence in the SMSF sector, being nominated as a finalist in five adviser-based categories and the eventual winner in two in the second annual SMSF Service Provider Awards hosted by selfmanagedsuper  and CoreData.

Specifically, Westpac won in the residential property loans category, while BT Wrap was voted the best SMSF investment platform. BT Financial Group was a finalist in the Australian shares, non-residential commercial property and insurance categories.

Magellan Financial Group won in the best service provider for international shares category.

CoreData principal Andrew Inwood said the win was indicative of a trend where this year’s award winners were rewarded primarily for effective client communication and putting clients first.

“Magellan has been out-communicating its fellow finalist Platinum for the past 12 months and this has been reflected in the survey,” Inwood said.

AMP dominated the administration space with three of its brands, AMP SMSF Solutions, Cavendish Super and Mulitport, nominated as finalists. Cavendish Super won in the administrator category.

“I’m delighted that AMP’s SMSF businesses were well represented in the list of nominees and winners for the selfmanagedsuper  CoreData annual SMSF Service Provider Awards,” AMP SMSF managing director Natasha Fenech said.

“This is a highly fragmented market and it’s changing all the time, with new technology improving customer service and the way SMSF services are delivered.”

Class Super won the highly competitive category of SMSF accounting software/administration, edging out competitors BGL Simple Fund and Xplan in the process.

“We’re passionate about bringing efficiency to the SMSF space. We want to give accountants the tools they need to provide a better service to the industry, which is booming,” Class Super chief executive Kevin Bungard said.

Other winners included FIIG Securities for fixed income, Cromwell Property Group in the non-residential commercial property category, Macquarie for cash and term deposits, and TAL for insurance.

Commenting on the awards overall, Inwood said: “Our goal is to allow the really good performers to stand out.

“The awards create a series of hard benchmarks for the providers, which is really important to the industry.”

The awards were decided based on the findings of CoreData’s “SMSF Service Provider Study 2014”, conducted between July and August, which captured the feedback of 1200 respondents, including SMSF trustees, financial planners and accountants who advise on SMSFs.

Service providers were included based on service quality ratings and preference as decided by accountants and financial planners with SMSF clients and SMSF trustees themselves.

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