Consolidated data the key to managing DDO risk

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MEDIA RELEASE: With the new Design and Distribution Obligations (DDO) due to commence on 5 October 2021, advisers need to review how they manage their data to better manage risk now, and ensure they have the proper systems and processes in place to do so, says WealthO2 managing director Shannon Bernasconi.

“In the wake of DDO, the ability of advisers to quickly slice data into higher risk asset classes, and to easily drill further into the holdings of clients or of the managed accounts that are recommending those assets, is more important than ever,” Mr Bernasconi says. 

Recognising this need, WealthO2 has launched the first in a series of releases enabling consolidated data views and “slices” of data for licensees and advisers to assist them to better manage risk.

“The first in the series of releases is the consolidated holdings feature. It allows the user to see the overall exposure by asset class or managed account, and importantly, the individual securities within each, and the level of penetration across the client base,” Ms Bernasconi said. 

“By providing advisers with this ‘birds eye view’ it helps them identify whether there is a client wide need to rebalance portfolios in response to changing market conditions, risks and opportunities. It also allows them to identify if a rebalance is needed as a result of a change in the firm’s investment strategy, to assess whether portfolios are over or under exposed in a particular asset class or security.

“The ability to quickly assess not only the dollar value of holdings, but also the number of entities invested in specific securities, can help in situations such as Rights Entitlement Offers or other corporate actions, as the adviser can easily gauge how many investors are impacted.

“Additionally, if there is a change in the investment strategy requiring blanket advice to all clients who hold a security, the new functionality can help by managing bulk records of advice (ROAs) or bulk switches, and more easily identify which portfolios need to be reviewed.

“For licensees it provides an instant snapshot of any holdings that may fall outside of a tightened approved products list, or a risk exposure view within one asset class to a particular issuer.”

Ms Bernasconi says the next in the series of releases from WealthO2 will include a by adviser slice (for larger practices or dealer groups) followed by a user interface integration for bulk actions.

The latest release follows the launch in 2020 of many new features including on the investor client portal to better facilitate digital meeting appointments in the wake of COVID-19, and the launch of a new rebalance functionality allowing higher levels of portfolio customisation. 

“In what has been a challenging year for advice practices, WealthO2 has grown to over $2.25 billion in funds under administration during 2020, as a result of the increased demand for its advice led technology that recognises and meets the needs of advisers,” Ms Bernasconi says.