Letters of authority are ‘bane of the industry’

“Wealth Wizards’ consumer-led and human-assisted (hybrid) guidance and advice platform automates key processes such as onboarding, fact finding, suitability report production and cashflow analysis,” he said. 

“We are also looking at making the LOA process easier by creating automated digital signature and provider requests.”

Article continues after advert

FTAdviser approached Mercer, Towers Watson and Capita for comment but neither had responded at the time of publication.

Fragmented world

During the research as part of the report, five key advice market issues emerged: digital ability is greater than technology; lack of control; data is the new oil; platforms aren’t enough; and clients expect more.

All of these issues are addressable, but the research found three fragmenting forces getting in the way of progress: misaligned commercial interests, decentralised control without tech to match it, and no shared desired view.

Advisers reported it was difficult to understand software before they buy it as they often struggle to sort the good systems from the “marketing hype”. 

This was borne out from the findings of the Lang Cat's online survey, where more than seven in 10 firms agreed that it is impossible to make an informed comparison on software providers.

GBST head of EMEA David Simpson, said: “Connectivity of systems to improve efficiency and the adviser and client experience is paramount to GBST’s product strategy. 

“We recognise the importance of open access to data, common standards, ease of integration, paperless processes and reduced cost of ownership of maintenance to support this drive for improved efficiency.”

Simpson said one of its key principles in developing platform technology is to provide a single core solution to all customers, so any new feature, and that includes an API, becomes available to everyone in the same format, structure and functionality.

Benchmark Capital’s managing director Ed Dymott, said: “Our services aim to help advisers navigate the complexity of integration with a turnkey solution, which covers the key services a high-quality financial planner needs to run their business.

“We support the entire lifecycle of an advice firm, helping practices launch, run more efficiently, accelerate growth, and then ultimately think about succession planning, with one simple aim – to help our advisers achieve more than they thought possible.”

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on to let us know