Cofunds users will start being transferred to the new Aegon/Cofunds platform by the end of the year as the foundation of the platform is now built, Aegon has confirmed.
Aegon’s acquisition of Cofunds completed in January and an advisory board of 30 intermediaries was set up to contribute to platform’s development.
At its latest meeting, the advisory board heard that the core of the new platform has been built and is based on the Aegon Retirement Choices platform.
A statement from Aegon reiterates that a new platform is not being built from scratch but a technology upgrade will “combine the best of worlds” from the Aegon and Cofunds platforms.
Speaking to Money Marketing, Aegon chief distribution and marketing officer Mark Till explains why the Aegon platform was used as the foundation.
Till says: “What is true about the Aegon platform is it is a much more modern platform. If you think about what Aegon’s platform can do, it can cope with stocks, shares, investment trusts, it has a pension, an Isa and a general investment account integrated in it. These things were not true of the Cofunds technology, it does not have an integrated pension and it cannot currently cope with stocks and shares and ETFs and investment trusts. That is why the Aegon platform is at the heart of what we are going to do going forward.”
Aegon users are expected to move onto the platform in the first half of next year, however some features of Cofunds will be available on the current Aegon platform ahead of the move.
Some of the features from Cofunds that will be added to the platform include pre-funding of trades and debit card acceptance, which do not currently exist on the Aegon platform. Cofunds users will be able to access a wider investment range, an integrated pension and a reduction in paper processes.
Asked if the projected £80m cost of technology upgrade had been reviewed or changed, Till says: “It has been reviewed and it certainly hasn’t been changed. One of the advantages we have had with the first three months is to validate the assumptions we made when we agreed to purchase the business. We remain confident that the number we said at the beginning is the number that will enable us to do the work we need to do.”
Aegon has promised it will not increase prices for Aegon Retirement Choices clients or Cofunds users.