InvestmentsJun 13 2018

Distribution Technology's Goss talks down upstart rivals

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Distribution Technology's Goss talks down upstart rivals

The chief executive of Distribution Technology has warned advisers that a market downturn could see the growing risk-profiling sector thin out.

Ben Goss, whose company provides the Dynamic Planner risk profiling software, said companies had been attracted to the growing industry of providing risk profiles in recent years.

But he warned: "I think that in a 10-year bull market, life is relatively simple, when things are going up.

"In a more volatile market, that assessment of risk becomes more important and the understanding of the drivers of risk becomes more important.

"When the markets change some of them will find life a bit more challenging."

Last year former Financial Conduct Authority advice specialist Rory Percival carried out a study of the risk profiling industry and found these tools had improved since the regulator examined the area in 2011.

But he uncovered significant differences in the mapping of asset allocations.

Mr Goss said he welcomed Mr Percival's study as the first dedicated look at the risk profiling sector.

He added: "In a market there are standards mostly set by companies. Apple sets the standard for apps. These things are best driven by customers rather than regulators

"There is a regulatory standard for risk called SRRI and it is flawed because it is backwards looking and historical.

"The market does a very good job of creating solutions which consumers need. I don’t think the regulator would want to regulate risk profiling companies."

Dynamic Planner is now used by more than 700 advice firms and it is integrated with more than 25 investment platforms, providers and back office systems.

Mr Goss said: "Today we are at 25 per cent of advisers who will use us so we have got a long way to go. Over the next few years we can grow a great business.

"We see a lot of opportunity to grow our relationships with our clients and to work with more firms.

"The business is very cash generative. We have invested very significantly in the last six months in more people to meet the demand we are seeing. That money gives us the ability to double down on our business and invest."

Martin Vaughan, chartered wealth manager at Clear Capital Management, said he would be concerned if he was relying totally on that output risk profiling tools, rather than using it as he does as a way of getting an initial insight into a client's understanding of their own risk profile.

"It is just a starting point for the conversation."