DST International (DSTi) last month confirmed a rumour doing the rounds for weeks, announcing it had purchased Bluedoor Technologies to replace HiWealth as its superannuation administration platform in Australia.
“If every rumour was true we’d have bought Bravura twice this year already, but [the Bluedoor acquisition] is right and makes a lot of sense for us,” DSTi chief executive Ian Mathieson says. The globally-developed HiWealth has never been able to grapple with tax laws around super in Australia, but Mathieson praises Bluedoor’s Wealth.net platform as a versatile category-killer which will accelerate users’ ability to roll out new products.
“The Wealth.net browser-based solution manages a comprehensive suite of investment and retirement products and is an extremely cost-effective option capable of replacing multiple legacy systems with one integrated solution,” he says. DSTi’s HiPortfolio remains the dominant funds management platform in Australia, which creates “logical touchpoints” with Wealth.net according to Mathieson.
“This is about integrating distribution and administration, for instance a fund’s unit price generated by HiPortfolio can be passed directly into the Wealth.net registry function, it will also allow us to leverage relationships with large retail client bases,” he says, adding DSTi’s prospects with super funds would improve as more became funds managers in their own right. Mathieson says Bluedoor is “already a viable business in its own right” with 35 employees and $7 million turnover in 2007/08, and management will remain separate for the foreseeable future.
DSTi has no concerns about Bluedoor’s new admin contract with LUCRF Super, which some rival bidders claim is stacked against the Wealth. net providers. “There’s an appropriate but not exorbitant amount of clawback for LUCRF if something goes wrong, and that’s perfectly sensible given their experiences with [previous admin system] Atune and having to wear all the development costs and risks alone there for a while,” Mathieson says.