BT has made a clear statement of intent on digital advice by signing a platform connectivity deal with Ignition Wealth.
In a deal that will be announced this morning, BT has agreed to connect advisers and accountants using the Ignition Wealth platform to BT Panorama.
A spokesperson for BT confirmed to InvestorDaily that Ignition Wealth is the first digital advice provider to have connectivity with Panorama.
The agreement between the two companies is squarely aimed at accountants who are no longer permitted to provide advice to SMSFs after the expiry of the ‘accountants’ exemption’ on 1 July 2016.
Speaking to InvestorDaily about the deal, Ignition Wealth chief executive Mark Fordree said that while many clients will continue to be offered portfolios of ETFs, others will now be recommended a BT Panorama product if it is in their best interests.
The experience will be “seamless”, he said, with the Ignition Wealth engine granted permission to create BT Panorama accounts for clients.
“Our hybrid solution will allow an individual to have a complete self-service into numerous investment options including BT Panorama but not limited to it,” Mr Fordree said.
“The journey starts with Ignition Wealth, and a proportion of the clients that come through our platform may end up in BT Panorama where it’s appropriate.”
The agreement with BT was a long time in the making and it was a matter of “jumping bank-grade hurdles” at every step of the process, Mr Fordree said.
While the initial agreement with BT is limited to connectivity with Panorama, the goal of Ignition Wealth is to become completely integrated into Panorama and the BT Wealth platform.
“All the major players in the wealth management business may over the next few years have a digital platform,” Mr Fordree said.
“Whether they build it themselves or partner is the key question. We’re offering a solution to those who either don’t have the appetite or capability to build it.
“If they haven’t started already, I suspect that they’re already leaving it too late.”
In a separate statement, Ignition Wealth said the deal with BT was “the largest fintech deal in Australia to date”.
“This marks the first of the ‘big four’ to choose an independent technology provider to power their digital financial advice,” it said.