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Ex-SJP manager launches AI platform for advisers

Ex-SJP manager launches AI platform for advisers

A former St James’s Place wealth manager has launched a platform to connect financial advisers to consumers using artificial intelligence.

Elemi Atigolo created Find Pension Advice, which allows savers to access expert advice from their homes through secure video chat technology.

Consumers are signposted to the platform through Finley AI, a voice-powered assistant which provides guidance on financial planning, pensions and investments.

Mr Atigolo told FTAdviser he wanted to build something “that anyone using technology could access, to help people understand the importance of planning at an early stage, and getting an understanding of the key aspects to ensure they’re building a better financial future”.

He quoted figures from the Financial Conduct Authority which showed that as many as nine in 10 UK adults aged 18 or over had never received financial advice.

As a former financial adviser and wealth manager, Mr Atigolo created the guidance content, which is available for free for consumers through Google assistant’s platform.

“Explain how tax relief works”, “should I pay off my debt or save”, or “what are my options at retirement” are some of the questions Finley AI is able to answer.

When the saver needs financial advice, he is able to choose an adviser in the Find Pension Advice platform, with the first meeting being free of charge.

Mr Atigolo says there were already 15 financial advisers signed with the platform, and his goal was to reach a pool of 100 professionals.

He said: “These are handpicked advisers, typically chartered, just because we want to assure that it is a high quality [service].”

He also said he was looking to work with advisers able to provide advice over phone or video, as one of the goals of his venture is to help people that cannot access advice where they’re located.

The platform charges a fixed fee of £50 to the adviser when the consumer agrees to the initial meeting.

Mr Atigolo is currently in talks with the FCA advice unit to “discuss obtaining support to provide greater aspects of financial guidance”, he added.

Paul Gibson, managing director at Granite Financial Planning, said: “Whilst this is an interesting concept, it is essentially a lead generation site of which there are already many, so it may find it difficult to gain traction.

"I think most decent advisers have more than enough enquiries, and I personally have found lead generation sites of variable quality, so don’t subscribe to any."

maria.espadinha@ft.com