Tech usage crucial as clients seek bespoke experience

The pandemic has led to an acceleration in advisers’ technology usage and those who can use it best will have the upper hand going forward, according to software firm Financial Simplicity.

Earlier this month, it was reported that many advisory firms were using more than 15 different types of technology and the firm said those who were reluctant to improve their usage would find themselves falling behind.

This was particularly important going forward as the younger generation, and even older clients who had started to use technology more during the pandemic, were seeking to have access to their investments online or via apps.

Financial Simplicity chief executive, Stuart Holdsworth, said: “We have had 10 years of innovation in one year thanks to the pandemic and the fear factor of technology replacing advisers is dissipating. But the people who use technology best will replace those who don’t. This can be a struggle as some firms are not leveraging technology well.

“We find there are some advisers who are very engaged with technology and can see how it helps them to do their job better but there is a segment of advisers who focus more on the relationship rather than the technology.”

If a firm was finding it difficult to use technology to its best advantage, Holdsworth suggested they outsourced it to a specialist outsourced provider.

Meanwhile, he said clients were increasingly looking to have a collaborative experience with their advisers and they would need to offer them a tailored proposition.

“There used to be only self-directed or advised clients, whereas now there is a big trend in ‘do it with me’, customers expect the experience to be more interactive and personalised. They want to feel more engaged with their investments than in the past,” Holdsworth said.

However, advisers could not tailor everything, he said, and the best solution would be to set up different model portfolios for clients and then tailor those to the individual client depending on their needs. He also suggested setting up different service levels, so advisers were paid proportionally for the work they completed.

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