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LEBC signs tech partnership to build ‘bionic’ advice

LEBC signs tech partnership to build ‘bionic’ advice

LEBC group has signed a joint venture with technology firm Kerr Henderson to produce software to help fact-finding and report writing.

The project - codenamed ‘Hobnob’ internally - is well advanced, according to a statement from LEBC, which plans to have a working prototype by the end of May to deliver advice at retirement.

The national advice firm’s chief executive Jack McVitie called it an important step in building its bionic advisory offering.

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Last month, LEBC’s director of individual savings and investments Kay Ingram claimed to have cracked the advice gap problem by combining human and automated services in a ‘bionic’ system, set for roll-out next year.

Clients will fill in an online questionnaire pin-pointing their specific issues, before being handed over to a financial adviser who will focus on those areas.

Mr McVitie stated: “In Kerr Henderson we feel we have found the perfect partner, combining financial services knowledge with strong IT skills. The aim is to produce software that will give further market advantage.”

Michael Kerr, managing director of Northern Ireland-based Kerr Henderson, added: “This is a very exciting venture for all parties and we look forward to working together to produce something which is truly industry leading.”

Providers like LV, Just Retirement and Scottish Widows, along with wealth managers such as Lighthouse and Bellpenny, are all considering moves into the market.

peter.walker@ft.com