David Tiller, Head of Adviser and Wealth Manager Propositions at Standard Life, discusses the many opportunities facing advisers if they embrace technology and improve efficiency.
There are many opportunities for advisers over the next few years.
The demand for advice has never been higher; pension freedoms have prompted the current surge in demand, and there will be more to come from auto-enrolment and the defined benefit (DB) market. And, as the Financial Advice Markets Review (FAMR) highlighted, customers are struggling to get the advice they need.
It means it’s time to think about capacity – if advisers can find ways to offer advice more efficiently, then they can open up a huge market with great potential. For instance, there’s real potential for advisers to move into the ‘bulge bracket’ of the market. Many advisers only deal with a small proportion of the population; those that can meet a fairly high minimum investment requirement. If advisers lowered this, say from £200,000 to £100,000, they would really enhance their client reach.
To make this viable, advisers will have to identify the areas of their businesses that take up resources but aren’t core to the value their clients perceive they’re getting.
Administrative time stealers could be the starting point, such as preparing drawdown reviews, or the processes around getting clients’ permission for every portfolio change. Over time, advisers may become comfortable with their clients ‘self-executing’ basic tasks, such as using their annual ISA allowance or topping up their pension contributions. This is where platform technology can help streamline administrative tasks.
There's no doubt that it's a time of rapid and significant change and challenge. But it's also a highly opportune time to be running an advisory business.
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