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FNZ backs property fintech in talks with adviser platforms

FNZ backs property fintech in talks with adviser platforms
London-based fintech startup Nokkel dashboard

Platform technology provider FNZ has invested in a fintech company in  talks with investment platforms to provide advisers' clients access to a property asset portal.

Today (September 6), FNZ confirmed it had invested an undisclosed amount in Nokkel, a London-based fintech startup trying to help people engage more with the assets tied up in their properties.

A spokesperson for Nokkel told FTAdviser that the firm was talking to a number of financial institutions about its dashboard and layering property equity into their holistic wealth offerings.

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These institutions, they said, include wealth managers and adviser platforms, as well as banks and insurers.

Nokkel is both a direct-to-consumer app and a portal which businesses - such as advice firms - can link to within their own apps to clients.

The idea is to give homeowners greater visibility of their properties’ values and help them understand the options this wealth provides them with.

It is advertised as an 'off-the-market' property portal to buyers, and to sellers as an opportunity to find buyers who are prepared to pay a premium price.

FNZ’s UK chief executive, Adrian Durham, said property was a “natural extension” of the technology firm’s holistic approach to providing wealth solutions to financial institutions.

“For many of us, our home is our most valuable asset – and one of the only assets where we can influence its value – and it shouldn’t be a portfolio afterthought,” Durham explained.

“By investing in Nokkel we want to provide greater control and transparency over this asset – in line with what we have over our bank accounts, investments, and pensions.”

Durham has given mixed signals on FNZ’s strategy. His company recently signed a deal directly with advice firm Fairstone to build it a new investment platform.

This prompted some in the industry to raise concerns that FNZ going direct with advisers would make platforms seem like mere “FNZ shopfronts”.

Following the deal’s revelation, Durham said on LinkedIn that FNZ had “no intention of directly dealing with advice firms”.

FTAdviser has approached FNZ to understand its strategy, but the firm has declined to comment.

How Nokkel works for advisers

Nokkel's chief executive, Roland Whyte, told FTAdviser any financial adviser considering retirement planning should have a view on a client’s holistic assets in order to advise on whether their client should, for example, drawdown on their pension, release some equity in their property, or feel rest assured that they have enough income from their investment property.

"Equally, if a client decides to sell their house or buy another, then Nokkel provides advisers with insights and information," Whyte said.

This data might, for example, help manage the proceeds from a property sale or if buying, it may help make sure appropriate income protection is in place for a larger mortgage on a bigger house.

Whyte added that Nokkel’s institutional solution provides consumers with a dashboard that advisers will have access to, along with an overlay screen that provides a summary and helps highlight trigger events where advice is required.