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Bouncing along nicely

James Gardner

Monday

Training and testing of our back office system Pulse took centre stage in preparation for a substantial upgrade, which looks to offer significant functionality enhancements for both advisers and our support staff.

Tuesday

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Following an adviser’s recommendation, I began investigating the Fusion platform and the associated Enable back office system. This is part of extending reach and scope of our systems.

Although Alpha was only launched at the beginning of 2014, the team behind the brand has worked together for a minimum of seven years, with Andrew Morris and Mark Sevier, the two longest-serving members, having worked with one another for over 30 years – Mark often jokingly refers to this as a triple life sentence.

An opportunity to expand the team recently presented itself, with three new members joining over the past few months. While it may not sound like much, headcount has increased by 50 per cent when compared to the original six-member team. Cultural fit is important, and often difficult to fully appreciate until people work side by side; luckily in this case most of us have worked together at a previous employer.

As a result of our enlarged team, we spent the afternoon taking new team photos.

Wednesday

I have two young kids so the morning began with a nursery drop-off. My wife has a knack of finding bargains and picked up a free trampoline on BS3 mums. As it needed to be dismantled, I had a range of tools to hand, including a coat hanger for the springs, but forgot my wrench. Fortunately the house was being renovated and full of builders, one of whom was kind enough to lend us his.

Turning up half an hour late, I arrived at the office to a planned re-fit to accommodate the enlarged group. If nothing else, it was a great test of our disaster recovery practices as everyone gathered in our board room with laptops and mobiles. In an attempt to avoid everyone going stir crazy, we arranged for a team lunch away from the building works, even offering a brief glimpse of the summer sun. The refit was successful, as was the ‘remote’ testing!.

Thursday

The IT and telephone systems were being re-installed as I arrived, giving me just enough time to grab a coffee and be handed a croissant and jam, before working through the outstanding tasks from the previous day. A local pub lunch for a catch-up with some past colleagues broke up the day, although the sun struggled to rear its head.

Friday

We took part in a conference call with a team of advisers to discuss current economic and market conditions in light of continued antics in Greece and China. Having recently signed up to Cofunds’ discretionary service, a Cofunds contact appeared to finalise our set-up and reaffirm processes.