Synchron has responded to concerns around new investment solution Valant Capital, saying it was created to address the market's lack of affordable model portfolios and that advisers are not incentivised to use it.
Yesterday, the non-institutionally-owned dealer group announced that Valant Capital had been created to provide platform, investment and insurance solutions to its advisers.
The story generated concerns from ifa readers, who claimed Synchron was no longer considered non-conflicted.
In response, however, Synchron and Valant Capital director John Prossor said the new company is not owned by Synchron and there are no incentives for advisers to use it rather than other platforms.
Valant Capital is owned by Mr Prossor, Synchron director Don Trapnell and Valant Capital director John Morrison.
“Synchron is not prescriptive about what platform our advisers use. They are welcome to continue to use the other platforms and there is no incentive either way,” Mr Prossor told ifa.
“This is just an additional option which gives them the ability to provide a competitively-priced platform with model portfolios in it, if they want them. Does that make us vertically-integrated? Not at all.”
Mr Prossor said the decision to create Valant Capital came in response to adviser demand for affordable model portfolios. It is also intended to serve a range of Synchron advisers who want to offer more than just risk advice.
“At a management conference in October last year, our state managers were saying that we’ve got authorised representatives asking for model portfolios. So when we went to see where to get model portfolios, we found they were very costly,” he said.
“Synchron is an extremely successful licensee in the risk area but is still perceived as a risk-only licensee. But that’s far from the truth; we’ve put on a lot of full-service financial planners in the last four to five years.
“Partly, this is addressing that – to show that we are more than only risk,” he said.
Valant Capital, rolled out this month, has so far seen traction with a small number of advisers, Mr Prossor said.
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