Nucleus, an IFA wrap proposition, is set to go live before Christmas, according David Ferguson, one of its founders. Ferguson (pictured), chief executive of Nucleus, says the wrap, which is 51% owned by IFA firms, has received Financial Services Authority approval in principle.
Ferguson says IFAs will have access to an open architecture unit trust platform, containing the funds of 60 fund groups. This, he says, will give users of the fund platform access to about 1,000 mutual funds, plus a universe of investment trusts and exchange traded funds.
Ferguson says: “As well as the usual suspects such as Fidelity, Jupiter and New Star, the platform provides access to smaller UK boutiques, such as Ruffer, Bedlam and Key Asset Management.”
Rather than deal with all the fund groups directly, Nucleus uses the commercial terms and operating infrastructure of the Allfunds Bank, an institutional third-party funds platform in Europe. “We use Allfunds as a trading conduit,” Ferguson says. “This means we do not have to pay for the links to a number of the groups we add to the platform. About 17 groups on the platform have been added through dealing with Allfunds.”
In addition to its link with Allfunds, Nucleus has selected Bravura as its technology partner for its funds platform. “This split model provides us with the most efficient way of connecting to the asset management community and we will continue to explore ways of delivering lower manufacturing costs where possible,” Ferguson says.
Alongside access to the funds platform, the Nucleus wrap will give IFAs access to a full range of tax wrappers – the only exception being small self-administered schemes.
Seven IFA firms have signed up to the platform: Asset Management IFA (based in Southampton), Avidus Wealth Management (Bolton), Central Investment Services (Aberdeen), Helm Godfrey (London), HKA (Leeds), Howard (London) and Scott Lang (Manchester). These firms combined represent clients with 3bn under management.