Equip buys stake in fintech start-up

Industry superannuation fund, Equip Super, has taken a 27 per cent stake with digital advice provider, Clover.com.au, to provide advice to the younger cohort that rarely seeks face-to-face financial advice.

The Melbourne-based financial technology start-up announced the completion of the funding round with Equip, and will use a goals-based approach to advice and portfolio construction, and algorithms to design portfolios, which will be rebalanced regularly to meet clients' goals.

Equip Super chief executive, Danielle Press, said the partnership would allow the $7 billion fund to extend financial advice to those who do not seek it through traditional advice avenues.

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"We believe super funds have no option but to integrate fintech into their service offer," she said.

"We certainly do not intend to be left sitting on the sidelines as member demand for online enablement makes offering these services essential to surviving and thriving in the financial services sector."

A spokesperson for the super fund said becoming a shareholder with the fintech company "presents us with potential upside from the money invested as Clover licenses the product out to other fund managers and super funds in the future".

Clover.com.au co-founder and chief executive, Harry Chemay, said people should seek financial advice earlier in life rather than leaving it to retirement.

"Clients are still burdened with lengthy advice and disclosure documents that are difficult to comprehend, are ushered into expensive investment products that are often opaque, and face on-going advice regimes that vary enormously in frequency and quality," he said.

Equip will roll out the digital advice service for members in mid-2016. The investment in Clover.com.au is part of the super fund's plan to enhance its financial advice portal for members, which will be released in March 2016.

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