Your Industry  

IFA launches robo-adviser for ‘Facebook generation’

IFA launches robo-adviser for ‘Facebook generation’

Another advice firm has announced the launch of a robo-advice service, aimed at a younger “Facebook audience” who cannot afford a full service and have less to invest.

Matthew Walne, managing director of Leicestershire-based Santorini Financial Planning, soft-launched the proposition towards the end of last year and plans to have a website up and running in the next two months.

Operating under the trading name Simple to Invest, it uses Parmenion’s Interact technology to create a direct-to-consumer investment management service with the option of an adviser connection via phone or online.

Article continues after advert

It will launch with an Isa and general investment account, with a pensions wrapper to be made available later in the year.

Mr Walne said: “We are not expecting great things to start with, as it will take time for people to catch on. We will be using digital marketing, mainly Facebook, as the main way of promoting it, which has the ability to laser target who you want it to see.”

He said changes in the Budget would make for interesting developments in terms of Isas, as this is where younger savers will be attracted.

“We’re entering into a world of the unknown. As it cost us nothing, there is no real risk to the business. It’s a kind of no-brainer.”

He said he took his cue to launch from advsier Alastair Rush, founder of Fiveraday, and others who have undertaken similar ventures.

“I expect that this isn’t going to be our core income stream at the beginning, but it will be helping to potentially bridge the perceived advice gap,” said Mr Walne.

With the average portfolio on robo-advice around £12,000, the service will be low-fee and low-cost.

“We are not expecting huge sums so there will have to be different investors. You just don’t know. This could be massive. We are not getting greedy with it, it’s just another additional service.”

The move comes as the Financial Advice Market Review report said that firms will get help from the regulator to set-up automated advice models to service consumers who have been abandoned by the existing advice system.

Vivian Slattery, director of Surrey-based Monetary Solutions, agreed that more advisers should innovate using technology.

“Until you do something, you don’t know if it’s going to work or not. Even Hargreaves Lansdown had to start somewhere. The trouble is, with sums under £50,000 most IFAs don’t want to touch them, as it’s too costly to turn around, so other options have to be found.”