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Foster Denovo platform launch driven by frustration

Foster Denovo platform launch driven by frustration

The "clunky" and complicated offering of most adviser platform prompted advice firm Foster Denovo to build its own, according to company chief executive Roger Brosch.

Foster Denovo announced this morning (13 June) that it has partnered with Host Capital Digital Wealth Solutions and Third Platform Services to develop an in house platform to be used by the firm’s advisers.

Foster Denovo runs a restricted model so all advisers will be using it.

Mr Brosch said the motivation for developing its own platform was "to have greater control of the client experience".

He said: "Obviously prior to that we worked with lots of platforms, and sometimes even the data entry was cumbersome, and many platforms haven’t really integrated the back end with the front end, so we thought we could develop it ourselves.

"The biggest effort on our part was the due diligence, we spoke with a lot of providers, we spent 18 months of due diligence, only a few providers could have done it.

"In particular, we have a flexible pricing structure for different clients here, and not a lot of providers could work with that.

"While all of our advisers will work with this platform, we know that it won't be suitable for every client, and in those cases we will continue to work with other platforms."

Mr Brosch said developing the platform proved straightforward.

He said: "One thing that pleased me was, whenever in the past we have done software projects, the pilot phase would turn up big problems, but this time it was only really small bugs, and we got the pilot phase done in six months, which I am delighted with.

"This was a big step for us, but I expect the integration to continue."

He also said with the company being more integrated this enabled the pricing to become more competitive over time. Though he did not give details on price.

Mr Brosch said: "I think we are pretty competitive on price now, but I think this will absolutely make us more competitive in time.

"We are always looking to innovate to provide a better service and be more competitive on price."

Foster Denovo's platform will only be available to the firm’s own advisers for the "next 3 to 5 years at least", though Mr Brosch didn’t rule out the platform being made more widely available after that time.

Foster Denovo recently announced the acquisition of two advice firms, and also the launch of a model portfolio service. 

david.thorpe@ft.com