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Standard Life to offer robo-advice on Elevate

Standard Life to offer robo-advice on Elevate

Standard Life is working to offer robo-advice on the Elevate platform as part of its plans for the service.

David Tiller, head of adviser and wealth manager propositions at Standard Life, said it was part of a number of innovations the company is looking at to support advisers’ businesses.

These also include digital self-service and tools to “drive increased productivity in the advice process”.

He said: “In terms of changes to the platform, the next thing you will see is the rebranding of the platform to Standard Life Elevate.

“This change marks the beginning of our development work and you will see further releases periodically as we move forward together with additional information on new developments being prioritised.”

Mr Tiller set out five priorities which Standard Life will focus on in the next few months.

These include providing access to an extended range of discretionary model portfolio services, improving integration and tools to support cash flow, capital gains tax planning and pension income management, and “enhanced user journeys”.

This last priority will include the creation of a “click and switch” process to transfer assets between wrappers efficiently.

Mr Tiller said: “Adviser focus has shifted to the consolidation and decumulation market, and many platforms are struggling to support this without completing significant - and costly - technology upgrades.

“A streamlined service for advisers serving clients in the run up to and throughout retirement has always been at Elevate's core, so our future investment will build on this.

“To reiterate our stated strategy - we have no plans to re-platform Elevate.”

Speaking to FTAdviser earlier this week, Mr Tiller said he wanted Elevate to be the easiest platform to use in the market.

Axa agreed to sell Elevate to Standard Life in May 2016 as the French company announced plans to abandon the UK life and savings market to refocus its business.

In February Standard Life revealed it paid £31m for the platform and the transaction was listed as a £5m “bargain purchase” gain in its accounts.

Martin Dodd, director of Wolverhampton-based Midlands Investment Agency, said: "I don't think it is a bad idea to offer robo-advice. For people starting out in life saving and investing it is probably the easiest way to access financial solutions.

"It is certainly in the back of my mind whether we should be offering some sort of compliant 'advice lite' because it is increasingly difficult for the ordinary man in the street to access financial advice.

damian.fantato@ft.com