Walking their talk

Dane Pymble and Bernard Gresser are moving all of their business at Infinitas Asset Management across to the Macquarie platform. In a practice with $100 million funds under management and a suite of their own separately managed accounts (SMAs), the task has been big – a 12-month project designed to launch Infinitas as an SMA provider.

As a mission-critical move, it took the Principals more than a year of due diligence to land on the Macquarie platform. Having previously worked for BT Private (Dane) and Macquarie (Bernard), the pair went in with their eyes open. Not their first rodeo, they were long on scepticism and short on trust.

“What we learnt from using other platforms was to watch what people did – not what they said. We soon discovered that, even when they say they can plug your software in, it doesn’t mean they can actually support it. We started off on a different platform. Then we discovered it would take more than two months for the provider to even look at an administrative issue – and then only if one of us got on the phone and leaned on them. We thought we’d signed up for efficiency gains, but the whole thing became a massive distraction.”

“Try as they might, other providers are simply not technology businesses. Some of them still use spreadsheets in the back-end, so they’re prone to significant user error – and their staff don’t understand their own internal processes.”

“In our experience, Macquarie is the only platform with a sufficiently expansive team to troubleshoot effectively. It’s a very slick, well-oiled machine. There aren’t a lot of issues, but when they do arise they’re addressed quickly. Now we don’t have to worry about tax reports not being correct or fees not being calculated properly. We have real confidence that the support will be there when we need it. We trust Macquarie to get the job done.”

Working with Macquarie, Infinitas got the efficiency gains it was looking for.

“Administration has dropped by about 85% and the service is consistently good. It doesn’t require senior people to wade in. Our team handles 99% of the communications with the platform.”

Dane and Bernard are also confident in Macquarie’s capacity to continue to invest in the platform.

“We have a very strong view that, if you fast forward two to three years, only a fraction of today’s platforms will still be around. Platforms are commoditising. It’s now a scale game. Only the strong will survive. Macquarie are in it for the long haul – they’re putting in the ongoing innovation and investment needed.”

“It’s a virtuous circle. The more they make our life easier, the more we’ll bring funds to the platform. The more funds on the platform, the more they can spend on development, the better it gets.”

“We’re the custodians of the advice. Macquarie are the custodians of the asset. We don’t have to second guess and worry about the technology and the administration. It’s a win-win.”

The pair appreciate Macquarie’s strategic advice and support for their own SMAs.

“Macquarie opened a lot of doors for us. We want to crack the external independent financial adviser market. The platform has 4,000 financial services firms plugged into it, giving us access to 17,000 planner relationships. Almost everyone in the market has access to the Macquarie platform in some way.”

“At the same time, Macquarie provide support on business development because they know that, when we succeed, they do too. They’ve helped us formulate ideas for growth. We certainly didn’t get that sort of value add from anyone else.”

Ultimately, Dane and Bernard say it’s about peace of mind.

“Clients come to us already wealthy. They want to generate income, but even more importantly, they want to protect their wealth. We have a lot more peace of mind when their assets are sitting with Macquarie than with other providers. And the high-quality service our clients get with Macquarie reinforces this sense of confidence.”

“In our opinion, Macquarie has the best value proposition of all the platforms in Australia.”

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