Aegon has outlined what advisers can expect over coming months from its takeover of Cofunds as it completes its purchase of the platform.
The Dutch insurer has said its upgrade of its two platforms - Arc and Cofunds - will differ from a traditional replatforming exercise, which typically means the building of a platform and migration of customers to it.
Instead the technology upgrade will add functionality and data to Cofunds, in a bid to ensure benefits can be brought to advisers quickly without the need for revisiting suitability.
Users of Cofunds will also benefit from a wider product range, including the use of exchange traded funds, investment trusts, shares and an integrated pension.
Those who currently use the Aegon platform Arc will have access to existing Cofunds’ features like pre-funding of trades, debit card acceptance and an improvement to the investment selection process.
Access to these extra features will begin to roll out in the second half of 2017.
Aegon has also now received regulatory approval from the Financial Conduct Authority for the acquisition, which was announced back in August.
Adrian Grace, the chief executive of Aegon, said this marks the start of a new era for both Aegon and Cofunds, saying the completed deal takes the firm a step further in its transition from a traditional life company to a fully-fledged platform business.
“Our focus now is to help intermediaries grow their business, grow their profitability and manage their risk and costs effectively,” he said.
Last August, Aegon announced it would set up an advisory board to bring together 20 to 30 firms who represent intermediaries of all varieties and sizes to guide Aegon’s development.
The advisory board, which combines users of the Cofunds and Aegon platforms, met for the first time in December and has lined up further dates throughout 2017.
Mr Grace said: “While we recognise that we have a big task at hand which needs to be handled with care, it represents a fantastic opportunity to work with intermediaries to shape the future of the platform industry.”