How does Synaptic deal with contract data?

Synaptic does not just copy “brochure” text out of a contract’s Key Features document. All data is analysed, and expressed quantitatively where possible – e.g. three detailed, filterable fields rather than a single field containing brochure text.

Synaptic divides the information about a contract up into three main areas:

AreaPurpose and   contents
FeaturesThe options   provided by the contract – e.g. waiver, phased investment, specific diseases   for critical illness policies. All features are expressed as yes/no to make   it as easy as possible to identify the contracts which meet a client’s   requirements. Any features with complex conditions or exclusions are   complemented by Condition information.
ConditionsPolicy   conditions such as minimum age at entry, minimum investment, charges and   allocation rates. N.B. Some charges cannot be accurately expressed as single   fields, and instead are recorded in the form of projected surrender values   etc. in the Stats section.
StatsData which is   typically used to rank contracts into a league table: financial strength,   own-charge calculations, and premium levels on rate-driven products.

Synaptic also records all the fund links available on contracts which have an investment element. This information is then combined with the past performance and other data supplied by FE. This provides two further categories of data:

AreaPurpose and   contents
SectorisationThe list of fund   links is used to calculate all the sectors in which a contract offers a fund   choice. Therefore, users can research contract flexibility in this area, and   eliminate contracts which do not offer all the asset allocation options   required to implement a client’s portfolio.
Past performanceContracts can be   assessed on their past performance – both in raw form, and using   risk-adjusted measures such as alpha.

Finally, the data on fund links allows users to eliminate contracts which do not offer specific funds – i.e. to build a basket of funds in which to invest the client’s money, and then to research which wrap platforms (or other contracts) the basket can be bought through.