Technology  

Chartered planner turned fintech CEO on solutions for smaller IFAs

“If we sense from a firm that they know what they need, and they're willing to make decisions and move quickly, that's the dimension we make decisions against.”

The tool

The tool performs a comprehensive fact find, after which it determines financial risks, creates a range of priorities and a personalised report before giving users the chance to chat to a professional 

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The financial health check is a tool that advisers can launch through Ningi and allows advisers to start engaging with any consumer, whether that is someone who is wondering whether they should pay down debt or invest £100 spare cash.

“At the moment, it's acting as effectively a triage where if the clients that go through or the prospects have sufficiently complicated and valuable problems, it will triage them into a conversation with advisers. Where it doesn't, it signposts them towards the free solutions that are out there and relevant guidance. 

“It's our foot in the door to that holistic financial planning tool powered by advisers and over the next six to 12 months, we'll be adding more features in there that basically solve problems for people.”

He explained that the tool is the “backbone of financial advice” where people walk through simple questions and it helps them decide should they be paying down debt, taking out protection, investing or picking up with an adviser to focus on retirement plans.

“It's that type of priority setting,” he said. 

The money

Ridlington said the firm is “aggressively cost effective” from everything about Ningi and the technology to where it capitalised as a business. 

“It’s about really being dramatically cheaper than a comparable position,” he said. “Our entire platform is kind of all you can eat effectively so you pay per client, rather than per service delivered. 

“Advisers effectively can deliver the financial health check and only pay once they take on a new client so the vast majority of people going through this aren't going to be a cost to the adviser and it's only when they take up investment advice or whatever it might be.”

Once an adviser does take on the client, Ningi charges £1 per client, per month.

Ridlington said from a tech perspective and from a funding and capitalisation perspective, the firm is already set up to be on that “high growth, startup journey”.

“At the moment, our approach is really to limit new clients onto the platform,” he said. “We're cherry picking our favourite advisers. 

“It sounds really mean but we're launching with early adopters and once or twice a month, we're bringing in a new firm.” 

He explained that a lot of those firms, such as New World, are launching new propositions and helping to shape the products.