The SimplyBiz Group has announced the appointment of leading external experts to the investment committee that will back its new investment advice service, Centra.

Centra, powered by Defaqto Engage, is offered at no cost to advisory firms working with The SimplyBiz Group.  It offers financial planning, integrated product research and suitability reports within a single system, with the ability to use a ready-made complete centralised investment proposition (CIP), or for a firm to apply their own CIP.

The external, expert investment committee, chaired by Dan Russell, Managing Director of SimplyBiz Investment Services, will help with the design of strategic asset allocation within the service, along with monitoring and reviewing investment solutions within the complete CIP.

Defaqto Head of Insight and Consulting (Funds and DFMs), Pan Andreas, will provide both asset allocation and investment research services. Former FCA technical specialist Rory Percival will provide external governance and compliance oversight for the committee. SimplyBiz Group Compliance Director, Gary Kershaw, will act as deputy chair, whilst Ken Rayner of Rayner Spencer Mills and Square Mile will provide investment review and monitoring services.

Dan Russell, Managing Director of SimplyBiz Investment Services and Chair of the committee, said:  “Centra has been very well received by advisers, with over 700 firms signing up for the service in the three weeks since we announced the impending launch. The calibre of the professionals who will be working on behalf of those firms on this Investment Committee is second to none and I am confident that the Centra proposition will become a core part of our Members’ toolkit.”

Rory Percival commented: “Having reviewed Centra and been involved in the design process of the service, I am delighted to serve on the investment committee. Making suitable investment recommendations and having a robust advice process that justifies those recommendations remains one of the biggest challenges faced by advisers.  Centra provides a good framework to assist advisers in tackling these challenges in an efficient way.”