Fintech: rplan aims for D2C dominance with InvestCloud deal

A fintech acquisition designed to digitise multi-channel fund distribution is taking place as America’s InvestCloud buys London-based rplan.

Described as the UK’s leading provider of client engagement technology, rplan’s client base includes “some of the largest institutional asset managers in the world”, including four of the top eight in the UK.

The firm said it has had significant success enabling asset managers to digitise their existing retail clients and “catapult the development of their digital strategy to support multi-channel distribution”.

The acquisition – for a cost of $20 million – will see rplan’s capabilities made available to InvestCloud’s global client base of more than 700 firms, including some of the largest financial institutions in North America.

John Wise, chairman and chief executive of InvestCloud, said the success of rplan is indicative of a changing institutional asset management industry.

“In the UK, D2C [direct-to-consumer] has been popular for several years, and hence more common as a channel. In the US, fund managers have been traditionally concerned about channel conflict. But the success of Vanguard with significant inflows is changing the landscape and the approach of other US fund managers.”

He said “the writing is on the wall” as asset managers move towards multi-channel financial distribution that includes D2C solutions.

Both firms use modern technology that is based on ‘application programming interfaces’, known as API, which in general terms facilitate programming. The tech is also “cloud-native”.

The firms say these facets will address the requirements of a heavily regulated and international marketplace.

Andy Creak, director at rplan, said: “rplan has the most advanced D2C solution in the UK. We look forward to combining the InvestCloud platform and financial resources with our own solution and know-how to dominate the D2C market globally.”

©2018 funds europe

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