Dynamic Planner has launched its financial planning system across the continent, starting with France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Belgium.
As of today (March 22), the software provider is available for licensing in these countries.
The firm spent the past year hiring 30 employees, many of which will now support its European operations which are being led by Christophe Ponette, former managing director of Swiss digital banking solution provider Avaloq.
After a two-year exploratory process which found European countries were facing the same challenges as the UK advice market, Dynamic Planner has decided to take its newly updated software - which is now Mifid II compliant - overseas. The firm has been receiving inbound enquiries from Europe since 2018.
Ben Goss, the firm’s chief executive, told FTAdviser there are about “10 times” the number of advisers in Europe compared to the UK, counting roughly 270,000 investment advisers alone.
The firm has, as part of its overseas launch, partnered with the European Federation of Financial Advisers and Financial Intermediaries (FECIF), an independent and non-profit organisation with adviser and intermediary members from the 27 EU countries as well as from the UK and Switzerland.
Simon Colboc, who heads up FECIF's work on pan-European pensions, has joined Dynamic Planner’s board in a non-executive capacity. FECIF represents trade bodies for around 400,000 advisers, according to Goss.
“We’re taking Dynamic Planner to the continent,” said the chief executive. “Our one-product approach to risk-based financial planning will cover the same ground it does in the UK. The end-to-end process fits.”
At present, the firm's UK client base manage some £250bn in client assets.
Goss and his team encountered a number of similarities, as well as differences, between the UK and its continental neighbours when conducting their research.
Firstly, they found that for advised investors in France, sustainability was a topic “talked about in households for much longer”.
“It was clear they’d already developed a dialogue with clients years ago,” Goss explained, adding that more certified funds were bought in wider Europe versus the UK. “We can bring back a lot of learnings from the continent.”
And while Mifid II, Prod requirements, ongoing suitability, and Know Your Customer are all common challenges across Europe, the team also found certain countries - such as Germany and Italy - were further ahead when it came to digital adoption in the financial planning system compared to the UK.
Though continental Europe is also behind the UK on some frontiers. A major challenge facing advice firms in France, for example, which faced UK firms years ago, is a move away from guaranteed investment products.
“We’ve been doing this for 15 years already,” said Goss, who also highlighted the importance of Mifid II implementation across wider Europe - a regulation it is now fully compliant with.