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Vanguard pledges to offer 'state of the art' tech to advisers

Vanguard pledges to offer 'state of the art' tech to advisers
 Sean Hagerty, Vanguard's head of Europe

Vanguard has promised to help advisers bring down the cost of their services, including offering them use of its 'state of the art' technology.

It comes as the provider launches its advice service in the UK, aimed at savers with pots of £50,000 or more and charging an 'all-inclusive' ongoing fee of 0.79 per cent.

Asked how he thought its existing adviser clients might react to the launch, Sean Hagerty, Vanguard's head of Europe, told FTAdviser the company was "100 per cent committed to working with advisers, not against them".

He said: "What I would say to advisers is that we are here to work with you to expand the market, to give great advice to a lot more people.

"We would be foolish to think we can go out and think we can take share away from our adviser clients.

"We will work with our clients who are a little bit worried about it to find out how we can decrease overall cost."

He said this could include offering access to its the "state-of-the-art" technology which it has built in order to launch its advice service.

Hagerty said that Vanguard had automated the portfolio construction and rebalancing process and had partnered with a group of academics to create a risk profiling tool which uses 'gamification' to help assess client attitudes.

Collaborating with advisers

He added that Vanguard would "never knowingly" sell its advice service against one of its adviser clients.

He said: "The smaller advice firms are more our collaborators. When I visit them they are very alive to Vanguard's value proposition. They believe what we believe."

Hagerty added Vanguard would not be setting any growth targets for its own advice service.

He said: "We want to be able to serve clients and have a high satisfaction level. Growth takes care of itself then.

"I would rather be top rated than biggest. Size isn’t that important to us.

"We really want this to be something that helps the entire market. We believe there is an opportunity for the entire UK advice market to be bigger and better.

"If it helps UK savers it will expand the entire market. The industry wins when savers win."

Hagerty also pledged that the cost of Vanguard's advice service would fall as it grew. The company's US advice proposition offers tiered rates for clients with larger portfolios, but the UK proposition is sticking with a single fee to begin with.

He said: "Vanguard’s history has been that as we get scale benefits we try and return those back to the clients.

"There is only one direction that fee will go in."

damian.fantato@ft.com