National Life Assurance Co. of Canada has opened itself up to a range of potential new brokers by connecting its back-end operations to FundServe.


is the online network that supports mutual fund brokers in Canada and helps process their transactions. Insurance firm National Life had made overtures to the mutual fund broker community in the past, according to its vice-president of systems and services Gary Coles, but soon learned that FundServe is an imperative in that relationship.

“”We had rudimentary access before, but it never went anywhere,”” said Coles. “”These people could have sold our products before, but most of them have said, ‘Well, if you’re not on FundSERVE, we’re not going to do business with you.'””

The bridge between National Life and FundServe was built using connectivity tools from Solcorp, a software company and EDS subsidiary catering to insurance and financial institutions. National Life was already using Ingenium, Solcorp’s back office policy administration system. Solcorp most recently provided National Life with E-Links, an application that connects Ingenium to FundSERVE.

This way, transactions processed through FundServe can be processed directly through to Ingenium, according to Greg Hillier, Solcorp’s senior director of account management.

“”FundServe basically puts it out into a larger distribution channel through brokers and the like. It facilitates the buy and sell of their product,”” said Hillier. “”There was a need that was coming out of some of our clients in terms of being able to open up their segregated funds into a similar market, mutual funds.””

The result is a potentially much larger pool of brokers that can deal in National Life funds. “”This allows our expanded client base to make trades on our segregated funds — which is sort of the equivalent of mutual funds for the life insurance industry — through our system, online and (in) real time,”” explained Coles.

This is the first time an Ingenium user has been able to access FundServe according to Coles. The E-Links connector has been in place since September. “”We are getting business that we would not normally receive — if not large volumes now, for sure (in the future),”” he said, adding that National Life is still in the process of adding more brokers to its network.

Coles anticipates the project could lead to a 30 per cent growth in business. The fact that the transactions can be completed online is an added bonus. “”There is a productivity component here,”” said Coles. “”This stuff is all electronic . . . all of these things are done online in the remote offices and we don’t have to get involved to manually process the business.””


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