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IWP to invest in tech during 2022

IWP to invest in tech during 2022

Advice consolidator Independent Wealth Planners has said it will be investing in its technology during 2022 as it seeks to expand its offering to different demographics.

IWP, which was only launched in 2019, has already bought 30 firms during 2021, bringing its assets to £6bn.

Speaking to FTAdviser, IWP's chief executive David Inglesfield said the company was interested in coming up with new propositions for those clients for whom traditional advice wasn't suitable.

He said: "We are working on ways to create propositions that are more relevant to other demographics, most obviously younger people with smaller pots."

Inglesfield added: "We are doing some customer research at the moment so we will find groups of customers who will tell us what they find useful.

"One obvious example might be someone in their 30s or 40s. They might be on their fourth or fifth job and might have four or five pensions. They might be thinking about starting a family.

"They clearly have a need for financial advice but don’t want to sit down for two hours face-to-face and do a full fact find.

"If I pitched that potential client to one of our advisers they would say they’d love to help that person but they don’t have the capacity. That proposition doesn’t really exist today.

"Those clients are your retirement clients of the future."

Inglesfield added IWP would look to use technology to meet the needs of these potential clients, saying the company's increasing scale allowed it to invest in areas where a "small, independent firm" might not be able to.

He cited the example of training new entrants into the advice profession as another area in which IWP could use its scale to invest.

IWP has said it is funded privately, with Inglesfield saying it was backed by an "institutional investor".

When IWP buys a firm, it allows it to keep its name and branding, and to remain semi-independent. Inglesfield said this allowed the company to having buying power without "smothering that creative spark" that each firm has.

But he said 2022 would see changes in this area as the company sought to build its profile.

Inglesfield said: "We are planning to launch a national brand during the course of next year so we can talk to consumers about the IWP message.

"Our brand strategy is a co-brand. Our hubs will take the IWP prefix and keep their own names. We are clear about what we are offering. We are a group of locally managed firms which share resources.

"It is not a cookie cutter. All of these firms trade very successfully on their reputations. We are trying to scale up those ingredients."

However, Inglesfield added the company would look to reduce the number of directly authorised firms within the business, and bring some under the IWP umbrella.