According to popular urban legend, the ideas for Uber and Quidditch were thought of over beers.
Money Alive can also add its name to that list.
Andy Kirby, who is a co-founder and chief executive of Money Alive, says: “I just thought that with the limited supply of advice in the marketplace, how can you reach more people so they get access to good quality information to make better decisions?”
Money Alive is a video engagement platform that advisers license and subscribe to, which enables them to invite clients to watch box sets on different financial topics, such as understanding long-term care, drawdown reviews, defined benefit pension transfers and power of attorney.
Alongside Mr Kirby, the company was founded by three of its directors: Ian Beestin, who is marketing director; Mark Thewlis, a pension transfer specialist; and John Glover, who is business development director.
The original idea was for a direct-to-consumer proposition, but Mr Kirby says that shifted pretty quickly after speaking with advisers, who said the videos would help them to have conversations with clients.
Mr Kirby says: “The core ethos still stands: to help more consumers understand the decision they are making, but we are sitting in the middle helping the adviser on that educational journey, not just by using technology, but also by providing unbiased, consistent information, while bringing efficiencies into adviser businesses.”
Reaching a level of understanding
Once the adviser has issued an invitation to a client, they are then able to access the box set, which usually comprises a series of videos.
At the end of each video, the client is asked a number of questions, such as whether they understood it — answers which are then shared directly with their adviser.
“So the adviser builds up a picture of their client’s engagement and the level of understanding they may have.”
As a qualified financial adviser, Mr Kirby says he had first-hand experience of spending a lot of time repeatedly trying to explain complicated information to clients.
Mr Kirby explains that the engagement records are beneficial for the adviser in saving time and with risk management, because the adviser has a record of the client’s understanding, which could help if the client ever made a complaint in the future.
“From an adviser perspective, it is using technology to deliver something in an efficient way,” Mr Kirby adds.
“We also found that once clients have gone through the video journey, advisers say they have a much more engaged client, because their understanding is coming from a stronger position rather than a blank piece of paper.
“So they are having better conversations earlier on, which helps the process.”
To develop the content and to ensure it is detailed and accurate, and help advisers manage risk, Mr Kirby says the team enlists input from various regulatory and professional bodies, such as the Pensions Management Institute.