Fidelity Investments has expanded its Fund Partner Programme, the open architecture platform for Defined Contribution (DC) pension clients.
By adding two new external managers it has doubled the number of funds now available. Fidelity says further companies are lined up to join soon. Fidelity adds that it has also invested heavily in the operational infrastructure that supports the platform.
The Fund Partner Programme offers DC clients access to a range of equity index funds from Barclays Global Investors and ethical investment funds from ISIS Asset Management. The investment choice for DC clients will now be enlarged to include five equity and bond funds from Newton Investment Management, three equity funds from Baillie Gifford and four cash and bond funds from Barclays Global Investors.
Fidelity has developed the operational support for the Fund Partner Programme to provide greater flexibility on fee levels as well as offering more efficient switching between managers. Due to the differences between managers’ dealing and pricing processes, members switching between funds can find that they are uninvested for several days, says Fidelity. The platform aims to reduce, and in many cases eliminate, the risk of members being out of the market.
The Fund Partner Programme is supported by the same operations team and technology that supports Fidelity’s FundsNetwork funds supermarket.
“Clients and consultants continue to demand greater manager choice,” explains Colin Williams, Executive Director of the UK DC Business. “The addition of these new funds will give them more options when designing DC pension schemes with Fidelity. However, offering more choice brings with it more operational cost and complexity for clients and their administrators. The investment we have made in the operational infrastructure behind the Fund Partner Programme combined with the experience of the FundsNetwork operations team demonstrates our commitment to helping clients address these issues through an open architecture platform.”