Openwork will be investing in technology during 2017, the network’s marketing director has said.
Philip Martin said this investment will include a digitalised common customer relationship management (CRM) system for its advisers while developing new ways for clients to access information and guidance.
He said: “Technology is, of course, transforming everyone’s lives and ways of doing business, and as a network we are hugely mindful of our responsibility to help advisers embrace the opportunities this presents.
“Next year we will be developing different ways for customers to access information, guidance and advice, reflecting the step change in consumer behaviour we have witnessed in recent years.
“While we absolutely do not foresee the death of face-to-face advice, we do believe advice and guidance will in future be delivered both physically and digitally – often to the same client – and that distributors need to be equipped for both.
“Very few advisers will be able to rely solely on just one model in the coming years.”
Upgrading the CRM system, Mr Martin said, would allow advisers to write business and manage their client banks more efficiently, making their firms more productive.
He said: “It is in no-one’s interest for advisers and their support staff to waste time on tasks they simply do not need to perform manually in this day and age.”
Next year Openwork will also be expanding Omnis, its fund proposition, which saw inflows of £165m during the second quarter of this year.
Omnis added a number of new mandates this year, including a UK equity fund managed by Neil Woodford.
Mr Martin said: “In 2017 we will continue to leverage our size and scale to access the best fund managers at a below-market price.
“As ever, we will do so in a measured and demand-led fashion: there is no value in launching new funds just for the sake of it. Investor needs should always be paramount.”