Dealer group Australian Financial Services (AFS) is reviewing its platform arrangements, following ING Australia’s acquisition of 76 per cent of platform provider Oasis Asset Management for $54 million.

AFS has over $1 billion in funds under administration in Oasis, representing close to a third of the platform’s $3.6 billion in assets. The dealer, whose contract with Oasis expires in February 2007, was the first group to back Oasis and will kick off a tender process in May, Peter Daly, AFS chief said. “Our contract is up in February next year and it was always our intention to proceed with a tender anyway just to see what is in the market,” Daly said. “We have a wait and see approach.” Daly said that AFS was also excited about the additional resources and funding ING brought to the business including IT support, management and strategy. “ING will be investing a lot into making Oasis a tier one platform and accelerating a number of projects we’re currently working on with Oasis,” he said. “We have confidence in Oasis’ current management but ING could take it to the next level.” Oasis’ operations will continue to be based in Wollongong and run by its founding directors, which collectively own the remaining 24 per cent of the business. Dealer groups including Matrix, PIS and Total Financial Solutions are expected to continue to support the platform under ING ownership. Since June 30, 2005, Oasis has recorded net inflows of $700 million. Daly admitted that Oasis’ historically independent status had swayed the dealer towards to platform initially, and AFS would keep a close watch on how the ongoing management of Oasis unfolded. “One of the things ING said to us was that they had no intention of changing the business and removing the qualities that made it successful in the first place,” Daly said. Alison Dummett, Matrix chief, was also keeping an open mind about ING’s acquisition of Oasis. Matrix’s contract with Oasis expires in October 2007. “We are aware there are other interested parties out there, but we’re pleased with our partnership with Oasis,” Dummett said. “ING has said they plan to leave Oasis as a separate standalone business and that pleases us.” Paul Bedbrook, ING’s chief, was unavailable for comment. ING has not yet released details on how it would integrate Oasis with its other platforms, which include OneAnswer and the badged Macquarie Wrap PortfolioOne.

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