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‘Technology is key for advisers to survive’

The senior partner of Newcastle upon Tyne-based True Potential said, despite the demands of RDR for integrated systems and processes, he has seen “many examples” of advisers using outdated and cumbersome methods. Some appeared not to have any sort of system at all.

Mr Harrison said: “If advisers continue to ignore the benefits that technology brings, including improved customer experience and streamlined processes to help them submit business compliantly, this will only exacerbate the current adviser gap in the UK as more advisers fail to compete for business and cannot demonstrate enough client value to justify their charges.”

He added that advisers need to use a technology process that puts their propositions and how they work with their clients at the centre of the business.

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RDR forced a change in the way advisers conducted transactions and interacted with platforms, and many advisory networks and nationals have sought to develop their own systems.

In August national support services provider Openwork launched a technology system to help advisers transfer legacy assets on to its investment platform.

Philip Martin, proposition and marketing director for Openwork, said: “It is important we understand the processes behind the decisions our advisers make, enabling us to develop systems that can help them do their jobs as efficiently as possible.

“Building our own legacy transfer technology in consultation with our advisers has enabled us to develop a tailored system that can help identify when it is appropriate to transfer clients on to the platform.”

Adviser view

Ben Clarke, managing director of Surrey-based Wingate Financial Planning, said his firm was growing fast and had recently acquired another business. The company has upgraded its IT systems, which were previously managed internally, to boost growth and reduce the amount of time spent on administration.

He said: “We met with several IT companies to ascertain the best solution for our company. Our main goal was not so much about money savings, but more about finding a robust and consistent system that was also cost-effective. After meeting with WorkPlaceLive, it was clear that its hosted desktop solution would be perfect for our requirements.

“Working with WorkPlaceLive has been a positive experience. We now have the secure, robust, affordable and consistent IT system we need which has revolutionised our business.”