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Planning firm to establish MDA structure

Rachael Micallef and Aleks Vickovich
10 July 2014 — 1 minute read


Boutique financial planning and SMSF firm Moran Howlett has announced it is launching a managed discretionary account (MDA) and will phase out its use of traditional investment platforms.

Moran Howlett – which currently uses BT’s Asgard platform, Macquarie Wrap and SMSF software provider Class Super – will transition its $160 million in funds under advice to the MDA solution, after striking a deal with managedaccounts.com.au.

In a statement, Moran Howlett principal adviser Paul Moran said he believes interest in managed accounts will accelerate over the next six to 12 months, fuelled by a renewed focus on client service and a failure of major platform providers to deliver managed account capabilities.


“I’m not confident the big platforms will be able to deliver the right functionality because platforms try to be all things to all people and that naturally involves compromises,” Mr Moran said.

“managedaccounts.com.au weren’t trying to convince us that they would build the technology we needed.

“That was a good thing because, in our experience, everyone promises stuff they can’t deliver and certainly not in a reasonable time frame. When they do finally deliver it’s never what you expected.”

Mr Moran said the MDA software will help the firm “go up another level” with efficiency and provide greater flexibility for their clients.

He added that the inability of platforms to incorporate term deposits and fully integrate managed funds and shares means that his firm have had to manage more than 400 individual term deposits themselves.

However, speaking to SMSF Adviser, Moran Howlett director Cameron Howlett said that despite the move to an MDA structure, the firm will continue to use provider Class Super in conjunction with the MDA.

"We have been a client of Class Super for some time and will continue to be after the launch [of the MDA]," Mr Howlett said. "We are very happy with their service."

Planning firm to establish MDA structure
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