Old Mutual Wealth  

Old Mutual Wealth makes more replatforming changes

Old Mutual Wealth makes more replatforming changes

Management consultants Accenture has followed IFDS in being removed from Old Mutual Wealth's multi-million pound replatforming project.

IFDS were replaced last month by FNZ, and now the 20 staff from Accenture who had been working on the project have been ushered out in favour of Deloitte.

Accenture had been employed to give management support to “review the scope, planning and the implementation approach for the programme”.

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Mounting costs of the transformation project may be one factor behind the change.

Under IFDS the cost was estimated to have hit £330m.

FNZ estimates a further £120m to £160m will be needed to complete the replatforming task.

An Old Mutual Wealth spokesperson said: “Following May’s announcement that the business has contracted FNZ for the UK platform transformation project, Deloitte is currently supporting the programme.

"Accenture supported the closure of the project with IFDS, which has now concluded.”

Abraham Okusanya, director at investment and retirement research company Finalytiq, said: “Replatforming is never an easy proposition. It’s a huge undertaking, but a fundamental requirement if companies are to ensure their technology is kept up to date.

"Due to the complexities involved the direction of travel is toward outsourcing, and due to the massive scale of the project, it is reasonable to expect there to be difficulties.

“In this case I am not aware of the problems Old Mutual Wealth has been experiencing translating themselves into headaches or complaints from IFAs but that could happen it the latest replatforming process is further hampered.”

Last month FTAdviser reported how Old Mutual’s decision to drop the technology company that powered its platform could prompt advisers to think about shifting client assets to different providers later down the line.

It was at the start of May that Old Mutual shocked the industry by announcing it was terminating its contract with IFDS, deciding to use technology supplier FNZ instead.

The head of Old Mutual Wealth, Paul Feeney, told FTAdviser it would have cost too much time and money to upgrade the platform technology if they had stayed with their original IT provider.

Industry figures have disputed whether the announcement will trigger a big shift away from the Old Mutual platform, but they expect advisers to review their platform providers when there is greater clarity around the changes taking place.

Bill Vasilieff, chief executive of Novia, questioned whether Old Mutual will be able to make the huge cost cuts they have outlined by opting for FNZ.

"This project is more complex than just building a new platform; it is a substantial migration involved and I'll be interested in seeing whether they end up paying £160m."

He also claimed this recent announcement just adds to advisers' existing concerns about changes at Old Mutual, such as the firm setting up a restricted sales force and the overarching group's radical restructure as it splits into four parts.