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Advisers can't take risk profiling too seriously


Advisers cannot be "too concerned" about a customer's risk profile, as it is a core element in the advice process, Adam Byford has stated.

The managing director of Synaptic Software, which sells research and management tools including risk profilers, said while advisers should not put too much emphasis on a risk rating, he believed that getting a customer's risk profile right was "absolutely a core foundation to offering advice".

He said: "The risk rating and having an assessment of a customer's capacity and tolerance for loss, these together will help you build an appropriate strategy for your customer.

"It is not to be underplayed: it is one of the foundation stones of the advice process."

He told FTAdviser: "The regulator has been fairly consistent in its positioning around risk profiling and the appropriate due diligence which is undertaken through the advice process.

"The focus has been around proving appropriate due diligence is undertaken, making sure that processes are followed appropriately and that the software used is built on a sufficient and robust basis to supply an appropriate assessment of a customer. 

"We will see more coming in around Mifid II and the assessment of ongoing appropriateness of solutions for the customer."

According to Mr Byford, there may be a reinforcement of existing guidelines on appropriateness and suitability, although there may be more of an emphasis on making sure advisers know what is expected of them. 

He also said that, from a technology perspective, it would be possible to use technology better to help save time in the advice process, such as filling in some of the factfind, and allowing advisers to concentrate on the relational aspect of giving advice.

Earlier this year, Synaptic Software launched an insurance tool called Cover Me Now, which will help provide an insurance quote within minutes.

At the time, Mr Byford said the technological development aimed to make the quote generation process "as slick as possible" for intermediaries and their clients.