Robo-advice  

Bradbury Hamilton to offer robo-advice

 

Robo-advice is on the cards for his firm in the coming year, Sheriar Bradbury has said.

Speaking to Emma Ann Hughes, editor of FTAdviser and Financial Adviser, the managing director of London-based adviser Bradbury Hamilton, said: "We have acquired many client banks over the past 23 years - 49 so far - which tend to be small, one-man practices in the main.

"What we have done for the past year is that we are focusing on our existing database, which has 55,000 people on it, and we are only actively engaged with on 2,000 of those.

"So we want to get more penetration into the others and therefore we are looking at robo-advice solutions and more intermediate solutions that might involve a conversation with a client, perhaps over Skype, with a click-through so the advice is more limited."

He said the firm would look to put in its own technological solution rather than outsourcing. 

Mr Bradbury added: "We have decent reserves to finance this and we can do this internally. I don't envisage the set-up cost to be too enormous. 

"It's the organisational aspect. We are investigating the market right now."

Mr Bradbury also spoke about the pernicious effect on advice that the lack of a long-stop has been having on the sector, in terms of ongoing liability and a barrier to getting new blood into the profession. 

He said: "I think 15 years as a long-stop is too long. Look at the legal profession - they only have a six-year liability.

"Advisers are carrying this liability to their graves. Not many complaints come to IFAs, and very few of them are 15 years old, so the regulators could have [imposed a long-stop] and given comfort to advisers."

He said if more people were to be encouraged to enter this sector, a limit on the liability is needed.

When it comes to hiring, Mr Bradbury said he believed the lack of a long-stop would be another disincentive. If it were to be put in place, this would give firms more confidence, Mr Bradbury added.

simoney.kyriakou@ft.com