Lifespan Financial Planning, one of Australia’s largest privately owned financial advice networks, has launched a suite of Managed Discretionary Account portfolio solutions on BT Panorama.

A range of 30 Lifespan model portfolios are now available for financial planners in Lifespan’s adviser network using BT Panorama, the Australian retail platform with the largest rolling annual net flow[1]. The model portfolios are available across a range of risk profiles and enable investment in Strategic Asset Allocation portfolios, with the option to blend Tactical Asset Allocation.

Lifespan CEO, Eugene Ardino, said the move was designed to broaden the reach of Lifespan’s managed discretionary account solutions to as many of the firm’s more than 250 advisers and their clients as possible.

“We’re looking to boost the availability of MDAs to the adviser community, as advice business and adviser use of managed accounts and portfolios increases. Adding 30 of our model portfolios to one of the fastest growing retail platforms in Australia is a great way to do that.

“We will also be making our bespoke MDA and model portfolio options available to the broader adviser community via Lifespan Partnership, our support service for existing self-licensees and those advice businesses wanting to transition to their own individual AFSL,” Ardino said.

Lifespan is one of Australia’s most experienced MDA operators, having offered MDAs to advisers and their clients for more than 15 years. Lifespan’s MDAs are due diligence checked and approved by Lifespan Research and Investment Committee members, in consultation with global asset consultant Mercer.

Lifespan’s MDA solutions are offered either as easy-to-use dealer portfolios or customised solutions designed for the right advice firms. BT Panorama houses 10 Lifespan Strategic Asset Allocation portfolios, and 20 pre-blended Strategic and Tactical Asset Allocation combinations, which includes a range of low-cost index options.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly highlighted the benefits of managed accounts to advice businesses and advisers, particularly when it comes to adapting to market volatility. With an MDA, advisers can ensure investment decisions are more quickly implemented across the entirety of a client base to protect portfolios or take advantage of buying opportunities,” Ardino added.

“The popularity of managed accounts is being driven by the benefits they provide advisers and their clients, such as reduced back-office burden, the ability to run a tactical overlay for downside protection and reduced business and compliance risk.

“Research shows that around 37% of advice practices currently use managed accounts and this will jump to 52% of the industry by 2022. Lifespan is at the forefront of this trend, with more than $450 million in MDA services for over 1500 clients, and we expect that number to grow rapidly as we continue to boost the availability of MDAs to the adviser community,” he said.