Automated Advice 

Evalue launches retirement robo-adviser

Evalue launches retirement robo-adviser

Fintech group Evalue has launched a robo-advice service for advisers aimed at clients approaching their retirement.

The company offers a digital transformation platform which enables IFAs to provide customers with a choice of fully automated, partially automated or face-to-face financial advice and guidance.

The technology is customisable and clients can begin their advice journey by opting for one form of advice and can switch to more, or less, face-to-face interaction, as deemed necessary.

As part of the service Evalue provides the underlying technology and algorithms to help digitise those processes from start to finish.

In practice, the company anticipates it will work with advisers to understand their specific processes and then automate those using technology, both its own and that provided by third party providers.

Charges depend on the particular needs of the client and the services purchased.

Evalue claimed the technology had the potential to reduce the length of professional advice by 70-90 per cent. 

Evalue also offers One Financial Adviser, which provides a white labelled solution for advisers to provide end-to-end advice.

The company stated it wants to reduce the advice gap, which had widened since the retail distribution review of 2013, which introduced more explicit charges.

It claimed these charges deterred customers with smaller savings pots from seeking assistance, a problem that had been exacerbated by the pension freedoms in 2015, which gave individuals more flexibility to access to their pension pots.

Paul McNamara, chief executive of Evalue, said: "The advice gap has never been greater or more dangerous, particularly for those approaching retirement.

"Over a third of the population might have a need for advice but haven’t yet taken it. Whether it’s due to high advice costs or not meeting advisers’ criteria, these people are calling out for help.

"Otherwise, they risk making the wrong decisions and potentially running out of money in retirement."

Tom McPhail, head of policy, Hargreaves Lansdown, said the industry has made considerable efforts to offer advice to the masses, but the current regulatory environment was not accommodative to low-cost, automated advice.

He also said Hargreaves Lansdown, like other distributors, was increasingly working with technology to reduce the cost of advice but full robo-advice was still deemed too risky by many.

He said: "There is undoubtedly an advice gap. Post RDR, there was a concerted move across the advisory community to move upmarket. That was entirely logical. Mostly it was a good thing as standards went up as well.

"However, the cost of providing an advisory service has also gone up. So, to add value, advisers focus their energies on the higher value customers."

He added: "You can use portfolio management or risk analysis tools to take on some of the heavy lifting out of the hands of the intermediary, but the real cost of the advice comes from the original data acquisition.