When Adrian Tate joined the asset management arm of Canada Life in April 2011 as marketing communications manager, it was at the beginning of a project to restructure the company’s investment fund range, and the run-up to the launch of Canada Life Investments into the UK retail market in January 2013.
Launching a single fund is a significant event for any head of marketing: the positioning, branding, marketing communications, data and compliance requirements must all be in place. Yet in little over a year, Canada Life Investments had to launch more than 15 funds.
FE was involved from the very beginning, on a number of fronts. But it was FE Precision+ Documents that proved to be the “real win”.
Canada Life Investments’ product strategy was targeted at the adviser and discretionary markets, seeking to offer a shelf of solutions to match post- RDR market dynamics. This saw the conversion of existing unit trusts into OEICs – a process that was completed in July 2014. The company also launched a suite of new funds, including the risk-targeted CF Canlife Portfolio Funds range, which is now amongst the company’s “biggest sellers”.
Given the size of the challenge, Canada Life Investments took the decision to invest in the latest technology to enable them to launch quickly and cost effectively - a decision that would also allow the organisation to position itself as a modern, dynamic partner to advisers.
FE’s deep understanding of data and of the adviser market meant that it was uniquely placed to help Canada Life Investments to launch their funds: in ensuring that the right data appeared in the right places on the website and in fact sheets, for example. FE was also instrumental in helping the organisation to engage with the adviser community through FE Trustnet.
On an ongoing basis, FE Precision+ Documents has proved particularly important in the following areas.
Fact Sheet Production
Launching or re-launching multiple funds over a comparatively short period of time involves the distribution of a huge amount of information, as well as packaging and presenting this in accordance with RDR guidelines and in line with the Canada Life Investments brand.
“We now have 23 actively managed funds, so just having to produce fact sheets for each of these – and keep them updated – is a major task. In some organisations, fact sheet production can take up a whole head-count. FE Generate has been a real win for us, enabling us to totally automate the process: data feeds into the ‘sausage machine’, and a perfectly formed fact sheet comes out at the other end! It’s a 10-15 minute job for us each month,” says Adrian.
Powering performance pages via web frames
Since the launch of the new Canada Life Investments website, FE data has powered both the Prices and Performance page, and the performance detail on the individual fund pages. This data is delivered by FE Precision+ Documents, with the Prices and Performance page being a single frame that gives users access to advanced search and filtering capabilities (by sector, asset class, risk, yield and maturity) and the ability to research and compare funds across a range of different factors – all supported by dynamically updated data.
“The Prices and Performance page has the highest number of hits on our website after the home page,” says Adrian. “It’s a crucial part of our site; we are talking about mission-critical data. So we need to be confident that the data we are putting out there is consistent and accurate – across all the locations where it is displayed. I don’t remember FE ever having let us down.”
As FE Generate is a hosted service, any changes needed (prospectus details, fees, charges and so on) can be sent to FE and uploaded by FE technicians – even changes in the KIIDs which are actually administered by Capita on behalf of Canada Life Investments. This makes for a very “manageable” process according to Adrian.
Strong relationship with FE
FE is Canada Life Investments’ largest technology partner. When asked to sum up FE in three words, Adrian considers and then replies: “reliable, powerful and data!”
“We’ve been working with FE from the start,” he says. “They’re a key service provider - what they are delivering is absolutely critical to our business. Our day to day relationship works well too - if we need to make changes for example, the response time is good. I’m really pleased with the service.”
And if you have access to the best technology tools, size is not a prerequisite for success.
“Despite our parent, Great-West Lifeco, being one of Canada’s largest financial companies, Canada Life Investments is relatively small. It’s our use of technology and strong relationships with partners like FE, that allow us to compete alongside the bigger firms,” concludes Adrian.