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Progeny: Pace of tech adoption has dropped across suppliers

Progeny: Pace of tech adoption has dropped across suppliers

Platform and product providers have slowed in their uptake of new technology following the pandemic, according to one national advice firm.

Chief operations officer at Progeny, Caroline Hawkesley, told FTAdviser suppliers made "promising initial progress" during the pandemic.

The switch in working environments from offices to workers homes, as well as the sudden avoidance of human contact, forced many companies to invest heavily in technology to remain afloat.

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But now, post-pandemic and in a world largely returned back to normal, Hawkesley reckons the pace of technology adoption has slipped.

“At an industry level, after the promising initial progress we made during the pandemic, the pace has dropped on adoption of technology across our suppliers," she said.

"This is a shame as the industry risks missing the ground-breaking benefits that tech can bring to streamlining and optimising service delivery in financial services."

Individuals can order a car from their phone to arrive on their drive tomorrow, Hawkesley continued, so why can’t they do the same with a financial plan, tailored and delivered according to the client’s preference?

"Significant inward investment from the big players is what’s needed to take technology to the next level in financial advice," she said.

Progeny is one of a handful of national IFA consolidators which have been gaining market share rapidly over the years. 

In September last year, the firm hired a former director of corporate finance from big four auditor KPMG to drive its acquisition activity.

The year before, in October 2021, private equity investor Further Global Capital Management bought a majority stake in Progeny, readying the firm for further acquisitions. 

The national IFA’s preferred platforms are Quilter and Transact, but its clients are stretched over seven or eight platforms due to its M&A activity.

It also uses technology from Moneyinfo, a firm which has built a client portal for advisers alongside an app which is used by some IFAs as a front-office customer relationship management system in place of their old provider to help reduce repetitive processes.

“We will continue to invest in technology, innovating across the client experience and we are bringing all parts of our business together into the same software ecosystem as we move into 2023, helping us to better deliver our unique set of services to our clients," said Hawkesley.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com