‘I’ve been with Nucleus 14 years — here’s why I might leave’

Bespoke IFA is not the first to raise concerns over the migration. Earlier this week, experts warned there were “significant challenges” ahead for the firms.

But a spokesperson from James Hay said the firm was excited about its agreement with FNZ, as it would allow its advisers and their end clients to benefit from the “considerable investment” FNZ has made in the development of “market-leading technology, their people and best-practices administration”.

There will be no immediate change for Nucleus advisers, but once the deal is completed the company will undertake an evaluation of the current technology arrangements — Nucleus’s deal with Bravura — with the goal of combining the businesses so the front-end is aligned around Nucleus with the back end run by FNZ.

Graham added: “When we look at FNZ, there doesn’t appear to be an IFA anywhere in sight.

“It is a huge firm. We won’t have any input, we will be a very small player and have no influence.”

Hogarth was less concerned, saying any future platform migration would be “well planned, thought out and considered” before any green light was given.

Standard of service

Bespoke IFA was also concerned over the level of service provided to advisers by James Hay.

Graham said: “We were gutted to find that James Hay was buying Nucleus. As an IFA of many, many years, James Hay has never been good for IFAs and the way they handle things is poor.

“You can’t get information out of them. We’ve got rid of almost everything that was on James Hay because we had so much trouble.”

On the other end of the spectrum, Nucleus was easy to deal with, quick to respond and provided excellent adviser service, he said.

But Hogarth said the merger would help this aspect of things. He said: “It enables the enlarged group to go back to basics, focusing on value and service and not trying to enhance the proposition with addons which create little or no value.”

James Hay said it had made significant investment in its customer experience and would continue to do so.

The spokesperson added: “We have a new management team leading the business and this has been made a priority. We have seen improvements already and we are confident this will continue.”

Addressing the concerns about moving to FNZ, James Hay said: "Any changes will be made over time, in a measured and controlled way to ensure continuity for clients."

Nucleus declined to comment.

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