DecisionsDecisions, provider of the UK’s leading online financial planning platform, has developed a bespoke stochastic modelling tool for Norwich Union, which will be launched on 23 May. The online planning software, called Forecast, is designed to make portfolio planning easier, and provides their advisers with new tools for making portfolio recommendations for customers. Critically, Forecast will:

· Show the benefits of financial planning and demonstrate how a planned portfolio can produce better returns than an unplanned portfolio;

· Encourage clients to spread investments through a range of holdings and sectors, and;

· Educate investors about the impacts of portfolio changes and how this might affect risks and return.

DecisionsDecisions’ has built on an existing relationship with Norwich Union nurtured by its sister company, Barrie and Hibbert. The latter develops the stochastic models employed in DecisionsDecisions systems, models already used by Norwich Union for economic scenario planning within its insurance business.

Commenting on the announcement, DecisionsDecisions’ Managing Director, Iain Horn, said:

"Web-based financial planning is now a necessity for the leading insurers and we are delighted to have been chosen to develop the platform and associated supporting infrastructure with Norwich Union. With an ageing population worldwide and a widening pension savings gap, financial planning has never been more important, from both the insurers’ and consumers’ perspective. The incorporation of risk analysis into consumer projections will enable Norwich Union’s team to differentiate its offering based on robust, realistic, financial forecasts for individuals."

Neil Davies, head of investments at Norwich Union, added:

"The key to successful investing is robust portfolio planning, but delivering the portfolio recommendations that clients demand can be time-consuming and complex for advisers. More choice for consumers can mean more administration and research for advisers.

More than 100 funds are now available through Portfolio and Norwich Union is determined to give advisers the high-quality information and tools needed to make effective decisions on behalf of clients. Forecast will help advisers build bespoke investment portfolios for clients while easing the compliance burden by keeping an audit trail of IFAs' fact-finding and recommendations."

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