DST International (DSTi) will look to expand into a new area of the retail market for superannuation software in Australia following its acquisition of a UK pensions software provider.

DSTi, a global software and systems company specialising in financial services, has bought Pensions and Actuarial Services (PAS) of the UK, which is the largest supplier of pensions planning and calculations software to UK independent financial planners, as well as insurers, banks and building societies. DSTi in Australia is still best known for its HiPortfolio funds management admin system, although it has developed a suite of other systems, including risk management, in recent years and has been making headway in supplying systems to the platform and master fund market. If it can develop an Australian version of the PAL range, this would give the company a foothold in the direct financial planning market for the first time. Ian Mathieson, the managing director of DSTi in Australia, said yesterday that the company would be looking closely at some of the generic capabilities in the PAS range. “Its real strengths in the UK and European markets come from a series of very tailorable calculation engines for things such as fees, commissions, taxation effect and lifestyle planning … “While some work will undoubtedly be required to cater for the nuances of Australian superannuation, it would be very incorrect to conclude that the acquisition is only relevant to the world of UK pensions. “As is normal, we have taken, as much as possible, a global perspective of future opportunities prior to completing the acquisition.” Under the agreement, for an undisclosed sum, DSTi will gain the PAS team including actuaries and financial planning experts. In the UK, the acquisition will help DSTi develop further its wrap business, with the PAS software enhancing DSTi’s adviser-oriented front end. The PAS brand will continue, as DSTiPAS, and PAS will continue to market its existing systems to existing markets. PAS financial planning tools are available to more than 20,000 IFAs in the UK.

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