Nucleus to cut platform charges

Nucleus to cut platform charges

Nucleus will cut its platform charges by two basis points, from 0.35 to 0.33 per cent for assets up to £500,000, on July 1.

FTAdviser understands the platform is also planning to introduce a new, lower £200,000 asset tier priced at 0.30 per cent but this, if introduced, will not be available to advisers until Nucleus has moved its client book over to FNZ from Bravura.

James Hay platform charges will also change once advisers are moved to the new FNZ platform, but the company is yet to clarify pricing on this client book.

The idea is to bring all customers of Nucleus and James Hay to a similar pricing point. A source told FTAdviser some firms are on variable pricing structures, which is putting further pressure on the provider to consolidate pricing.

Today (May 16), a Nucleus spokesperson confirmed the 2bps price cut. They said: "Our ambition is to harmonise charging models and offer appropriate price which fairly reflects the value we offer customers and that increasingly benefits from the scale of our operation as we continue to grow."

The spokesperson did not confirm nor deny plans for a new, lower £200,000 asset tier priced at 0.30 per cent.

Nucleus' other pricing tiers, which sit at 0.175 per cent for assets between £500,000 and £1mn, and 0.05 per cent for assets over £1mn, will remain the same, the spokesperson confirmed.

Nucleus merged with James Hay last year. It now manages around £50bn of assets. Together, the two platforms combined sits at a value of around £700mn. Less than a year after the merger, there was a subsequent second private equity buyout.

'No delays' on migration project

Nucleus is currently gearing up for its long-awaited migration of James Hay users to a FNZ platform.

The company said its latest private equity buyout had "not altered” these plans, which are still committed to launching the new platform on FNZ before the year is out.

However, this did not mean James Hay advisers will be on the platform by the end of 2022. 

“It’s our stated plan to replace James Hay Online with a new platform for new business, then start the process of safely and carefully migrating the back book over the next year,” the platform told FTAdviser.

James Hay advisers currently sit on some of the oldest technology in the UK advice market. In the final quarter of 2021, the platform’s assets dipped £126.4mn. The wealth planning firm cited a “backlog of issues that had built up over the year due to some well known service problems”.

Over the whole year, assets grew just 2.7 per cent, the smallest growth of any DIY or advised platform.

A source suggested the HPS deal, which occurred less than a year after Nucleus was bought by James Hay’s private equity owner Epiris, happened so soon because of a failure to kickstart the migrations to FNZ.

Nucleus responded: “There are no delays to the plans we have discussed with our supporting advisers and any suggestion that the project is linked to our recent shareholder change is ridiculous and completely false…HPS becoming a majority shareholder has not altered our plans.”