Platforms  

Aegon admits some platform processes still rely on paper

Aegon admits some platform processes still rely on paper

Aegon has confirmed it will continue to use paper-based processes for some platform functions up until August.

Aegon announced this morning (8 May) that it had completed the integration of the Cofunds platform it acquired for £140m in August 2016.

The company then announced it would kill off the Cofunds brand and integrate the two platforms.

But the company has confirmed to FTAdviser that about 5 per cent of Cofunds' processes remain paper-based, and said this was to help customers joining from that platform.  

An Aegon spokesman said: "To help advisers manage the portfolios of the 400,000 customers that were on Cofunds, it will have an extensive range of online processes such as topping-up, switching, transferring-in and withdrawing, as well as supporting advisers' administrative tasks such as setting up adviser charging, model portfolio management, bulk rebalancing and obtaining valuations.

"These online processes and transactions account for the vast majority of activity on the platform – approximately 95 per cent of all tasks.

"As many processes on Cofunds are paper-based, to help our users adjust for a fundamentally different platform experience, we have decided to phase in the introduction of some online replacement services for new business processing. Everything will be online by August."

Darius McDermott, managing director at Chelsea Financial Services, which was a Cofunds customer and after the transfer over this Bank Holiday weekend is now an Aegon customer said: "Aegon have committed to a number of enhancements to the platform, which we should get in the next 12 months, as well as pledging to invest multiple millions per annum to continually enhance it over the coming years."

The upgrade took place over the Bank Holiday weekend and saw more than 400,000 users and £37bn of assets upgraded to the Aegon Platform.

This was the third stage in the integration of Cofunds with Aegon, with the Investor Portfolio Service and institutional service having upgraded in December and March respectively.

Mark Till, chief distribution and marketing officer at Aegon, said: "After a busy weekend, we are pleased to confirm the technology upgrade has completed. Intermediaries and their clients will from today start using the new Aegon Platform.

"A number of advisers took part in the upgrade testing this weekend, logging into the system, accessing their customer records, and reviewing valuations and models amongst other tests.

"We know that with such a major upgrade of our platform we’re expecting many users will want to login so we’ve made every effort to ensure we can meet high levels of demand on our website and contact centre, but we expect the first few days of operation to be exceptionally busy.

"This upgrade is the culmination of a huge amount of effort, and significant input from intermediaries and their teams. It'll be a long time before Aegon does anything of this complexity again or which touches a greater number of customers and intermediaries.