Case study of BGL’s Simple Invest 360
SMSF administrator and ASIC company solutions provider BGL Corporate Solutions has launched a portfolio management solution for trusts, companies and individuals called Simple Invest 360. BGL managing director Ron Lesh shares with Industry Moves some insights into the launch process.
What goes into launching a new product for BGL?
Involving clients from the start of the process ensures we build what they need. It starts with an idea. Then planning, building a team and then software development. Then testing and the release of closed beta. During this phase, we continue to get client feedback, make improvements and ensure the product is working as intended. From here, we move to open beta and then finally to public release.
Why did you decide to launch this option now?
Now is the culmination of over two years of work by the team. The decision to release a new product is made by our clients, not by us. We asked our Simple Invest 360 beta clients just one simple question: Would you be prepared to pay for this product? Their response was a resounding yes, so we knew Simple Invest 360 was ready for public release.
How did you research market opportunities?
The motivation for Simple Invest 360 came from client feedback. Clients using our Simple Fund 360 software told us they needed a solution to handle their non-super portfolios. BGL also has a Simple Ledger Desktop, which has been our solution for non-super portfolios for many years. Simple Invest 360 is the natural progression for BGL. To complete our cloud product suite, BGL needed a cloud-based portfolio solution as an addition to CAS 360, our corporate compliance solution and Simple Fund 360, our SMSF solution. So we have always recognised market opportunity – we just needed to build the product to satisfy it.
What challenges did you face and how were they overcome?
BGL has built first-class infrastructure for our cloud product suite at Amazon Web Services (AWS). So with the basics right, building a third product was comparatively easy. The main challenges were finding an easy way to handle different entity types – trusts, companies and individuals. The tax rules for each of these types needed to be built into the new software. This was probably the greatest challenge but with our 30-plus years of experience in building financial software, they were quite easily overcome.
How did you decide on service providers?
Because Simple Invest 360 uses the same technology as Simple Fund 360, the service providers for one are all available in the other. We have 350-plus connections to our product suite, covering bank, broker and wrap feeds as well as 100-plus ecosystem partners. We select the service providers we think give value to our clients and those our clients request because they know they provide value to their businesses.
Can you explain the fee structure?
Easy. Simple Invest 360 has a base price of $100 per entity per annum plus GST. There are two add-ons: our Bank Data Service, which is $40 per entity per annum plus GST, and our Share Data Pack, which is also $40 per entity per annum plus GST. Bank data includes our direct bank data feeds and indirect feeds through our business partners. The Share Data Pack includes our contract note service and registry data from direct links to Computershare, Link Market Services and Boardroom. Clients can pay subscriptions annually or monthly, in advance.