60% of respondents, in our survey, said that their technology offering for their clients is adequate. But 40% say it is not. How much of your spend is on improving technology for the intermediary market?
Paul Boston: In terms of our interaction with advisers, we are building a new web front end, which will make it much easier for us to engage with third party technology. We are starting to work out two-way integration and how to plug into robo advice.
Annabel Brodie-Smith: We are seeing the rise of silver surfers and they are pretty demanding in terms of technology. We spent a lot on updating our website to ensure they can do as much as possible. As an organisation, we find that communicating on social media is the way the world is going. You can’t be complacent — you have to invest in technology.
Gillian Hepburn: Clients are often asset rich and time poor – that’s why they pay for an adviser. They aren’t going to go on the internet and look at how much they’ve got on a daily basis.
Andy Bracken: We are starting to develop a client portal, which gives access to people to look at their valuations. It’s an ever-evolving feast and if you close your mind to it all, you’re going to get left behind.
Jarrod Ellis: When we talk about technology from an advisory point of view, there are three areas that are key: advice, information and administration. Advice and information get mixed up sometimes. People talk about robo advisers and a lot of that is actually information. We should embrace the fact that we can deliver information. Valuations are not the same as advice. Information is not advice. Technology from an advisory point of view might be a Skype conversation, or it might be a WhatsApp chat. Beyond that, I don’t think technology is eating into the advice space.
Paula Steele: I operate my bank account online. Our clients should be able to do the same. If I can see a transaction I made four months ago, that is very useful and I do it all the time: why can’t they?
Andy Bracken: Banks went away from private banking to everything being online. Some of my clients say, “all I want to do is talk to someone”. We have service level agreements and we see these clients every six months or three months and talk to them to keep in contact and that is very important. That is where the value is created.
Mickey Morrissey: Thank you all very much for your contributions.
Research data is from an online survey of 34 respondents, which was conducted in partnership with Discus in August 2017.
By necessity, this briefing can only provide a short overview and it is essential to seek professional advice before applying the contents of this article. This briefing does not constitute advice nor a recommendation relating to the acquisition or disposal of investments. No responsibility can be taken for any loss arising from action taken or refrained from on the basis of this publication. Details correct at time of writing.
This article was previously published on Smith & Williamson prior to the launch of Evelyn Partners.