Business Support  

How advisers can increase competitiveness through technology

  • Identify the technology essential for advice firms today
  • Understand what you should consider when choosing technology
  • Learn how technology helps you meet the regulatory agenda
CPD
Approx.30min
How advisers can increase competitiveness through technology
(Dreamstime/FT Montage)

Technology has long been at the heart of the advice process, but the pandemic has driven the importance of having the right tech stack up IFAs’ agendas.

The pandemic brought to the fore issues associated with working from systems that are not joined up, and as a result we are seeing more advisers thinking about moving on form their legacy technology.

Clients have higher expectations than ever before of an advised experience that uses technology and data to provide a service that is convenient, engaging, and delivers quality outcomes.

Fully embedding technology into your advice process can also deliver significant efficiency gains.

The latest Intelliflo eAdviser Index, which measures our customers’ business metrics against their use of Intelliflo office, found that Champions, who maximise their use of technology, generated 44 per cent more revenue and 59 per cent more ongoing revenue per adviser and have 28 per cent more clients and 48 per cent more assets under advice than Explorers, who are not yet fully using all the functionality on offer.

Essential adviser technology

There are a huge array of tools and systems available to advisers.

Although the basic framework of the technology stack is often similar, the specific composition can vary widely, with few advisers using exactly the same combination of solutions.

As the repository for client records, the back office or customer relationship management system is generally at the centre of adviser technology ecosystems.

Platforms are also indispensable for most IFAs, and then there is the client portal, plus tools for cash flow modelling, investment research, client reporting, risk profiling and more. 

With some businesses using more than one tool in a category, the final technology stack can be incredibly complex and include multiple providers.

According to the Lang Cat’s 2019 paper with Origo, "A Disconnected World", a typical IFA used five standalone systems in the delivery of advice, planning and portfolio management plus two investment platforms. 

The importance of an efficient back office

Given the number of different technologies that play into the advice process, the importance of integration is clear.

Unless your systems share data easily and consistently, you will have to constantly re-key information in different places to use different functionality, taking up valuable time and resource. 

In a perfect world, all your systems should integrate effortlessly, pulling data from one to the other in a straight-through process that saves you time and money and delivers value for your clients.

Connecting your back-office system to your platforms, client portal, cash flow modelling tools and more will allow your client data to be populated automatically, making for easier and quicker reporting and a better, more engaging experience for the client as well as the adviser.

This allows you to focus on adding value to the client relationship and supports your business in delivering a high-quality service to a greater number of people while keeping a lid on costs.