JustFA, a fintech firm helping financial planners deliver an online advice channel, has claimed its technology could increase an adviser’s client base tenfold.
The software provider’s solution includes customer relationship management and back-office systems, its own custody, tax wrappers - including a Sipp, Gia, and Isa - as well as the ability to make transfers and payments.
Debbie Dry, the firm’s head of business development, previously spent 10 years on the board of Succession, the Aviva-acquired advice firm consolidator.
Now she has turned her hand to bridging the advice gap, which has been growing since the introduction of the Retail Distribution Review in 2013 which made it less cost effective for advisers to serve clients with smaller pots of assets.
Generally, the larger the firm, the higher the threshold of assets clients must hold in order for them to be applicable for advice.
“There’s some really good tech out there, but there’s not a lot of tech specifically built for our sector,” Dry told FTAdviser.
“JustFA is one piece of tech pulling all the providers together. Advisers are doing a good job of bodging services together; but they have to employ administrators to do this and it takes a while.
“This is a readymade out-of-the-box solution. People out of exams can use this to set up their business.”
The fintech firm has built its own proprietary technology, which then wraps around customised investment platform provider Seccl and uses its regulatory permissions.
Dry estimated advice firms can currently service around 100-250 clients per advisers. With JustFA, she envisions each adviser being able to serve more like 1,000-1,200 clients.
“This brings massive advantages to the industry,” Dry explained. “If I can engage with a client at 25, with lighter touch and tech driving it, I don’t have to fight with the market to engage with that client at 55. We’re building in longevity to advice businesses. I can’t see why all advice firms wouldn’t have this.”
Others in the industry are also focusing on digital advice propositions to capture younger clients.
Chartered financial planner Helena Wardle is developing a subscription-based advice model which will allow clients to switch automated and person-led advice as and when it suits them.
Meanwhile, advice firm First Wealth believes the opportunity borne out of robo-advisers was “evidence-based” advice, so it is currently building a data-led financial planning service.
Learning from Moneyfarm
John Driscoll, who is also working on JustFA’s offering, previously worked with Moneyfarm, the M&G-backed digital investment app.
At Moneyfarm, Driscoll helped the team to try and take its proposition to the IFA market. They found two key challenges when approaching IFAs.