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Investments, Retirement

OpenInvest aiming to address SMSF needs

A new online marketplace and platform offering, OpenInvest, was unveiled yesterday in response to SMSF trustees’ desire for direct access to a range of highly credible and experienced managers.

At the company’s launch event in Sydney, OpenInvest co-founder and chief executive Andrew Varlamos said the offering was designed to empower investors, while providing additional content, information and regular updates provided by investment managers.

“A Productivity Commission report said about 70 per cent of SMSF trustees make their own investment decisions without financial advice,” Varlamos said last night.

“These unadvised investors consistently say in surveys they want professional help with their portfolios.

“We started OpenInvest to solve three problems. SMSFs want help with their portfolios, but don’t know who to trust, they don’t know where to go and they don’t know how to distinguish between the different managers that are out there.

“And accountants know their SMSF clients need help, but they don’t want to or are unable to refer them to one specific investment manager, so there’s nowhere to send them.”

In addition, investment managers are given the functionality and the means to introduce themselves, explain their investment philosophies and help investors understand who they are, he said.

“By and large, investment managers’ brands are not well known by the SMSF sector. It’s hard for them to get their message out and it’s hard for SMSFs to find them,” he noted.

“Managers need a forum to present their credentials to explain who they are and how they’re thinking, and to manage diversified, multi-asset class portfolios, not just individual funds.

“That’s what we’ve built at OpenInvest.”

Foundation managers so far include Schroders, Shaw and Partners, SG Hiscock, JBWere, InvestSense – in collaboration with Magellan and PIMCO – and Clime Investment Management.

More managers will be announced in the new year.

Once an investor chooses an investment manager, OpenInvest then manages the investor’s portfolio based on ongoing instructions from their chosen manager, which will also keep the investor fully informed on the rationale behind its decisions.

Every element of OpenInvest has been designed to enable investors to always stay in control, Varlamos said.

OpenInvest has been launched on the Class technology platform, leveraging the capabilities of an established technology partner in the SMSF sector and wealth industry.

More integrations will be available in the coming months.

OpenInvest’s launch was supported by the SMSF Association and officially opened by its chair, Deborah Ralston.

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