Technology  

Advisers urged to check their tech in 2021

Advisers urged to check their tech in 2021
 Photo: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

Covid-19 has forced advisers to consider whether they are using the best technology for their business needs - a question that should still be asked in 2021 and beyond.

According to Heather Hopkins, founder and managing director of consultancy NextWealth, clients are more receptive than ever to technology and trying new things, especially when it comes to managing their finances. 

Speaking at the NextWealth Tech Live online event, Ms Hopkins showed how the necessity of working from home during the 2020 lockdowns meant both advisers and the providers they use had to adapt and adopt better technology to ensure the best client experience. 

For example, in March 2020, just nine platform providers surveyed by NextWealth had the ability to use online signatures. By the end of 2020, 16 out of 20 accepted e-signatures. 

Such transitions in tech use have been rife in the financial services industry, but participants at the event said the integration of new technology should not stop: developments have meant even better technology is available. 

For example, although every company leaped onto the Zoom bandwagon back in March 2020, advisers speaking in the opening panel session said it wasn't long into 2020 before they found more advanced technology out there that worked better for their business. 

Panellist Adrian Murphy, owner and founder of Murphy Wealth, said: "There is a lot of tech that advice firms can use. What we realised is that using PowerPoint as previous was not very useful in the remote environment. 

"So we did away with Zoom PowerPoint presentations and started to use portal MoneyInfo. This has made great strides forward to the point we can upload documents to be signed using Docusign and the ability to onboard clients."

He said the firm also uses behavioural insight tools which have helped the advisers "get under the skin of how clients make decisions".  

Jennifer Ellis, director of Wellington Wealth, agreed. "We are similar to Mr Murphy in terms of what we use. My concern is we need a bit more collaboration between and advisers and providers. 

"I've always marvelled at the next big thing in terms of technology, but before thinking the grass is always greener on the other side, ask for help."

But advice firms need to be careful about jumping into implementing the latest technology solutions before understanding about the various tools already available to them. 

Ms Ellis said firms need to work out what is best for their business, adding: "Even if the tech is not perfection it will speed up what you are doing in your business."

simoney.kyriakou@ft.com