Tech opportunity for client servicing: report


By Krystine Lumanta

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Client servicing is the biggest area financial planners want greater support in from their technology providers, according to the latest Investment Trends research.

The “May 2014 Planner Technology” report, released yesterday, found 91 per cent of respondents believed technology enhancements and further automation would help them with client servicing, which involved generating full statements of advice, a more efficient client review process and providing scaled advice.

“Especially with the Future of Financial Advice coming along, one of the key challenges coming through in planners’ businesses is demonstrating value for their clients, so they are looking for tools where they can advise clients efficiently, but also when they’re doing reviews, so they can easily show that they are adding value,” Investment Trends senior analyst Recep Peker said at a Midwinter media briefing yesterday.

“The providers that service the financial planning market at the moment have a huge opportunity.

“For anyone involved in this space, such as dealer groups, software providers or platforms, they can come in and help make planners’ lives easier.”

The report also found Midwinter achieved the highest satisfaction score overall from their users out of all software providers.

Midwinter managing director Julian Plummer said the company’s philosophy when producing adviser software was minimising instances of “poor” or “very poor” experiences.

“It’s the consistency of the users’ experience that we think has such a big impact on why we’ve done so well,” Plummer said, adding the advice process was a key focus.

“In the first generation of financial planning software, it basically started out as a customer relationship management (CRM) system, then they moved into modelling, then the second generation of planning software started out with modelling and then moved into CRM.

“Now this third generation is actually based around the advice process, so the whole end-to-end process – that’s where we’re concentrated on and we’re getting a lot of traction with advisers, particularly enterprises, as they see the model and vision we’ve got, and how it can be rolled out to their clients.”

The report was based on the responses of 1038 financial planners to a survey conducted in April and May.

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