Finocomp’s new boss Mike Baker is intent on expanding the technology firm’s focus to advisers, having previously gone directly to platforms with its products.
This would see Finocomp sell its microservice solutions directly into advice firms and networks, rather than just to platform clients such as Aegon, M&G, Novia and Nucleus - deals through which advisers have benefited second-hand.
“What we've traditionally done is provide solutions to platforms with an element of looking through the adviser lens,” Baker told FTAdviser.
Its Mifid II cost and charges tool, for example, was targeted at platforms but advisers could use part of the tool too.
“It’s always been up to the platform to determine whether they were going to expose it to an adviser market, which leaves it on the limb for the platform to decide.”
But Baker, whose wife was a financial adviser for nearly 15 years, said there was a significant opportunity in the direct-to-adviser space.
“Advisers are saying they still need to type in details in more than one place. My ears immediately prick up and say: ‘This is 2022. Why are you having to swivel chair? What are you having to type it into multiple places?” said Baker
“So are we, at Finocomp, looking at targeting advisers, rather than going through a platform? Yes, absolutely.”
Bravura, bought Finocomp for £13m in 2019, already has a number of products Baker and his team intend to develop to make them more suitable for networks and advisers to deploy themselves.
“The plan over time will be to make bigger-boxed products much smaller, so they become a lot more nimble and can be put in different places,” he explained.
“That way, we can go to networks and advisers and say ‘we have this tool’ or ‘we have that tool’, ‘what do you think?’
“Whilst everyone loves a big, affluent tens of millions of pounds contract, for me there’s definitely a market in those networks and those advisory firms which have got to a certain scale where they should be able to get the same kind of tech without necessarily having the price tag alongside it.”
Baker’s long-term vision is to open up Finocomp’s microservice solutions to as many advisers as possible - big or small.
“If we have a playing field where there are lots of microservices, individual advisers could say ‘that microservice fixes my problem, so I can take that and it’ll fix that problem I have today’,” the technology boss explained.
With the advent of the cloud in recent years, Baker said it was becoming evermore possible to provide these sorts of services to advisers through a subscription-based model.
“I think to date, that’s been something the market has probably been a little shy about going towards or at least considering.”
Finocomp, which has grown to employ some 70 people since Ray Tubman founded it in 2015, is currently on a recruitment drive. It expects headcount to grow by 10-15 per cent this year.