In a deal that will take the amount of funds administered by Financial Simplicity technology to about half a billion dollars, Melbourne-based firm First Samuel has licensed its software for a new individually managed account (IMA) product.

According to Anthony Starkins, head of First Samuel, the boutique wealth management group chose Financial Simplicity after an in-depth investigation. “We have a requirement to individually design and manage our client portfolios to suit a wide range of needs,” Starkins said in a statement yesterday. “So we undertook a thorough evaluation process and are very pleased with the solution provided by Financial Simplicity.” Stuart Holdsworth, Financial Simplicity managing director, said with the addition of First Samuel funds close to $500 million now sit in IMA products using its software. Holdsworth said the First Samuel contract is further evidence the IMA concept is starting to gain traction in Australia. “The appointment of Financial Simplicity by First Samuel marks another step in expansion of this type of service. First Samuel have exacting needs and their choice of Financial Simplicity shows the high quality of our software,” he said in a statement. IMAs, or separately managed accounts, which allow investors to retain direct ownership of shares and access professional management, are big business in the US but have been slow to take-off in Australia. However, a number of technology providers such as Financial Simplicity and Praemium are now growing the IMA market.

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