Advisers who don't engage with digital will lose out


Advisers who do not engage at all with online advice offerings and associated services could lose out in the future, according to digital wealth manager Moneyfarm.

Richard Flax, chief investment officer for Moneyfarm, said it was clear online services would become an increasingly important part of an adviser's business model.

"We think digital will be an important way for firms to engage with their customers, as people want to be able to access their accounts easily and simply, and to get up-to-date and clear information, and we already see that", he said. 

"Advice will become a significant part of the digital offering, as there is an advice gap and we need to find ways to provide advice in ways that is affordable.

"Some advisers will lose out, some will have to tailor their business model and some will end up using online offerings as a complement to their traditional approach."

But Mr Flax also told FTAdviser that while digital will be an "important part" of the future for financial services, it was not the be-all-and-end-all, as clients still needed to be given a choice in the way they interact with their advisers and providers. 

"There is a broad range of outcomes for advisers and it is up to them to choose how to operate", Mr Flax commented.

He explained: "We think digital will be an important part of the future but not the only part. We very much believe in the hybrid model, which is about giving customers the opportunity to engage with us in the way they choose."

He said some people do not want to contact their wealth manager, and are happy to let the manager run the investments for them, while other clients do want to engage and therefore it is important to give people the option.

In March this year Moneyfarm rolled out its digital self-invested personal pension (Sipp) product, as FTAdviser reported

Called the Moneyfarm Pension, the Sipp portfolios will be managed in-house by the wealth manager, and will only invest in what the Financial Conduct Authority has deemed 'standard' assets, such as exchange-traded funds.

The make-up of the portfolios will be structured by Moneyfarm to suit an individuals' risk and wealth profile.

Mr Flax said: "We want to be able to offer a product for customers across their investing life. We already have general investment accounts and Isas, so a pension is building out that product suite to offer a full range for our customers."