By Jayson Forrest - Managing Editor - IMAP Perspectives
Nucleus Wealth’s proprietary software system - Proton - is helping to streamline the managed accounts offering at this Melbourne-based business. Its technology offering has taken out the Innovation category at the 2021 IMAP Managed Accounts Awards.
Technology was a major theme in the Innovation category of this year’s IMAP Managed Accounts Awards. When examining the innovation of entries, the IMAP Awards judges considered three key questions: how unique is the innovation; how well is the innovation executed; and how significant has the impact of the innovation been in advancing the development of managed accounts?
These were challenging questions, but the judges were delighted by the depth of responses they received from entries.
“The majority of the finalists were focused on custom-built technology that specifically catered for the managed accounts sector. It was exciting to see to see the scope of this innovation, which we expect will encourage the broader adoption of managed accounts and propel the sector forward,” says IMAP Awards judge and Head of Research at SQM Research, Rob da Silva.
In a competitive category, the winner was Nucleus Wealth, which impressed the judges with its Proton software system. Proton is a highly customised and flexible end-to-end management system for managed accounts, which brings speed, efficiency and user-friendliness to the overall client experience.
“What particularly stood out for the judges was the way in which Proton streamlines the risk profiling and compliance functions to allow a client to be completely brought onboard in 10 minutes. This is a great example of how innovation will advance the development and adoption of managed accounts,” says Rob.
Shelley George CFA Nucleus Wealth
What particularly stood out for the judges was the way in which Proton streamlines the risk profiling and compliance functions to allow a client to be completely brought onboard in 10 minutes. This is a great example of how innovation will advance the development and adoption of managed accounts.
The genesis of Nucleus Wealth began with a belief by Tim Fuller and Damien Klassen that every Australian should have the same opportunity to access quality and customisable investment management, similar to the way in which high-net-worth and sophisticated investors are able to access it.
Almost five years on from its birth, and this Melbourne-based investment management and advice business is kicking some serious goals. It has quickly established an enviable track record of using technology to control costs, while providing a superior investment experience for its clients. And this track record with technology is paying off, with its proprietary technology - Proton - recognised in this year’s IMAP Awards.
The Head of Operations at Nucleus Wealth, Shelley George CFA, says the delivery of financial advice and investment management sits at the heart of how the business approaches technology. It does that by blending the benefits and efficiencies of technology, with the human element of providing personal advice through its technology platform - Proton.
Proton is a truly dynamic system. It uses proprietary research data to assist portfolio construction and provide industry leading customisation on a client-by-client basis
The engine room
So, what is Proton? In explaining the technology, Shelley refers to it as the engine room of Nucleus Wealth. The technology powers the firm’s portfolio management and advice service, while providing an intuitive online experience for clients.
“Proton is the end-to-end software piece for the operations of Nucleus Wealth. It does everything from client onboarding, through to enabling clients to view and maintain their portfolios. Additionally, there is also the operational side of Proton, which includes the administration and reconciliation of portfolios.”
A key feature of Proton that the IMAP judges acknowledged was its seamless onboarding process, which delivers a clear and easy pathway for clients to follow. The paperless end user experience is designed to collect the required information, while educating clients about investments and tailoring the final investment solution for them in a series of easy steps.
“Proton is a truly dynamic system. It uses proprietary research data to assist portfolio construction and provide industry leading customisation on a client-by-client basis,” says Shelley. “Proton offers clients the ability to personalise their managed accounts. We have over 30 different ethical screens they can choose from, and Proton can also reduce a client’s weighting or exposure to a particular sector, like Australian property, if the client deems they have enough exposure to it already.”
The investment screening functionality that Proton is able to deliver means the technology can create many combinations and permutations of investment models.
“The research part of the system, which involves a quantitative process and fundamental analysis of the quant, is critical to examining the potential combinations and ensuring that clients have the diversification and the risk characteristics that the portfolio manager wanted for the model selected by the client. That’s a really important part of the technology,” says Shelley.
This is where there is an opportunity for technology to step in and drive down the cost of advice, making it accessible to everyday investors. And that’s what we believe we’re doing at Nucleus Wealth with Proton.
Security, compliance and integration
Another important feature of Proton is security. The system incorporates two factor authentication and encryption, which protects and secures the personal information of clients. All data is held on Australian servers, using world leading cloud computing providers that meet stringent security requirements and carry significant levels of support.
“Clients are also authenticated through Proton using bank-grade external services that utilise machine learning and artificial intelligence, and directly verify personal details against live government databases and watch lists,” says Shelley.
Compliance in Proton has been specifically designed, built and maintained to adhere with regulatory requirements. This includes an annual audit of the system to ensure it remains compliant.
“From personal advice generation, data collection and associated privacy regulations, through to audit trails and ongoing portfolio management, Proton has been designed to keep ahead of compliance concerns, which provides the Nucleus Wealth team and our clients with peace of mind,” says Shelley.
In addition, ongoing client management has also been simplified by click-through processing of operational tasks and direct access to client files to ensure that all interactions are recorded compliantly.
Another important part of any fintech is its ability to integrate with other software and platforms. Again, the judges were impressed by the way in which this technology has been developed to seamlessly integrate and plug-in with its partners.
By using an Application Processing Interface (API) with third party providers, Proton is able to integrate and interact with a range of partners, including its platform provider - Praemium - and the digital identity verification system used for client onboarding, greenID.
… the development of Proton is making managed accounts more accessible and affordable to everyday investors. Our clients are very comfortable using this technology, which has helped increase their awareness and confidence of using managed accounts.
Efficiency and scaleability
Shelley is unashamedly proud of the way in which Proton is advancing the development of managed accounts, through its simplicity and efficiency, as well as its flexibility, which is enabling advisers to apply the personal investment preferences of clients to their managed account.
“Without technology to enable that it would be a very expensive process to undertake on a scaled basis. However, the development of Proton is making managed accounts more accessible and affordable to everyday investors. Our clients are very comfortable using this technology, which has helped increase their awareness and confidence of using managed accounts,” she says.
With about 700 clients of Nucleus Wealth currently using Proton, Shelley says the technology is scaleable and cost-effective. She adds that minimising the time and effort required to service clients in the back-end means higher levels of profitability, and an efficient and scalable technology solution for advice businesses.
On the right track
For the team at Nucleus Wealth, winning the IMAP Award for Innovation is not only recognition for the hard work and vision behind the development of Proton, but also industry validation of the innovation happening at Nucleus Wealth.
“Ultimately, we want to make our investment products and the advice experience more attainable to more Australians. We want the experience to be comfortable for them to access, easy for them to navigate and affordable to use,” says Shelley.
“This is where there is an opportunity for technology to step in and drive down the cost of advice, making it accessible to everyday investors. And that’s what we believe we’re doing at Nucleus Wealth with Proton. So, receiving this award is confirmation that we’re on the right track with our technology.”
IMAP congratulates all the finalists in the Innovation category for 2021
- Crystal Wealth Partners
- Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Australia
- Nucleus Wealth
- Resonant Asset Management
- Valor Asset Management