Adviser pulls clients from Aviva after 'rogue funds' chaos

Adviser pulls clients from Aviva after 'rogue funds' chaos

An adviser plans to pull all his clients from the Aviva platform after they suffered severe disruption with their investments.

In the latest instalment in a string of issues surrounding the provider’s troubled re-platforming exercise the adviser, who does not want to be named, said he had noticed a number of ‘rogue funds’ appear on his clients’ portfolios following the switch-over to the new platform.

He said he believes Aviva has switched his clients into a newer version of their respective portfolios.

But errors in the process meant not all funds had made it into the portfolios, with up to six funds per client clients being omitted.

When challenging Aviva about this, the adviser was told he would need to manually switch the funds into the new portfolios himself.

He said Aviva’s actions meant clients had been placed into a portfolio they had not agreed to and they also held the wrong funds, which had unbalanced the portfolio and could potentially have damaged, or improved, their returns.

The adviser said: “I run my own model portfolios for clients and clients get rebalanced when we hold our next review meeting. 

“This does mean some clients will hold an older version of a portfolio until we next meet but changes are generally small and I don't hold discretionary permissions to change things without the client's permission.

“It seems that when Aviva re-platformed they moved all clients onto the current version of the relevant portfolio without my, or the clients’, knowledge.

“When I challenged Aviva I was told just to go to each client and manually switch those funds into the portfolio i.e. set up a sale of the 'rogue' fund and then a purchase of the funds in the portfolio.

“That took nearly three hours yesterday and I will be billing them for my time.”

The adviser also encountered problems with switching Isas for four of his clients.

The clients attempted to make Isa transfers from existing Aviva accounts but could not set up the quotes on the system so Aviva had to do it for them.

The problem was the money transferred then sat in cash as the system did not automatically invest it according to the instructions given.

The adviser said: “I am still awaiting a resolution to that one after we raised it last week and I raised it again yesterday. 

“I will be exiting all my clients from Aviva [and] where possible do so over the next few months.”

FTAdviser has learned from another adviser, who also does not want to be named to avoid aggravating the situation, that there were problems with transacting fund switches and "contributions were arbitrarily dumped in cash then random amounts allocated to funds".

He said: "Either I am the unluckiest user of this platform or there is a massive problem going on unreported.