Even though the Covid-19 pandemic continues across the globe, some of you may feel like life, if not business, is slowly moving towards some sort of normality.
However, I know from conversations with advisers over recent weeks that it’s a pretty tough market out there with time at a premium. Everyone across the industry is seemingly busier than ever.
A good time for reflection
So now may be a good time to re-evaluate key services including your Centralised Investment Proposition (CIP).
The growing regulatory focus, compounded by the impact of the pandemic, has driven many firms to take a step back and reconsider what the best investment solutions for their clients are.
This reflection can lead to questions around whether in-house or outsourced investment solutions are most appropriate for clients and how platform technology can support these.
Of course, the answer ultimately depends on client needs and the advisory business model.
But whether it’s running in-house model portfolios, outsourcing to multi-asset solutions (including some with super clean share classes) or outsourcing to discretionary model portfolios, Elevate has the technology to help.
Benefits and challenges of in-house investment solutions
There are many benefits of running in-house advised model portfolios including having full control and no third parties to deal with.
Platform technology can help advisers manage in-house solutions efficiently and provides a wide range of funds to choose from.
However, there are also challenges such as the need for an investment committee to provide the required governance as well as the need to obtain client permission each time a change is made.
These challenges can put an additional burden on the administrative side of the business.
Making best use of platform technology
Meanwhile, adviser firms which choose to outsource some or all of their CIP could help improve their business efficiency.
During this very unsettling time, outsourcing investment decisions to a discretionary fund manager (DFM) can give adviser firms more time to focus on financial planning and so maintain strong client relationships.
Outsourcing could also help adviser firms create better client outcomes and help them meet regulatory requirements.
Clients can benefit from a discretionary wealth service, while advisers can make best use of the platform technology available to them.
If adviser firms do choose to go down this route, it’s important to remember that a ‘whole of market’ comparison must be carried out before selecting a preferred DFM. And of course, advisers must demonstrate suitability for each individual client and not just at a firm level.
Access to a wider range of outsourced solutions
At Elevate, we’re continuing to invest in our Separately Managed Account (SMA) technology. This makes it much easier for DFMs to manage their portfolios on Elevate and helps adviser firms access outsourced managed portfolio solutions for their clients in an efficient way.
This technology means adviser firms can benefit from simplified processes for buying, selling and switching of SMAs. Simply select the SMA from a dropdown list of available investments, then any buy or sell instructions are managed directly by the platform rather than through the DFM. This makes the process of investing in SMAs centralised and scalable.
Over the coming months, I’m pleased to announce that we’ll be expanding our select panel of DFMs using Elevate’s SMA technology, giving advisers access to a wider range of outsourced managed portfolio solutions to meet different client needs.
In the meantime, I’m hoping to head north to Aviemore soon for a short break with the family, now officially ’the summer holiday’. Hopefully I’ll be able to drag at least one of my children up a hill to enjoy some of the great climbs in the area.
I hope you’re able to take a break over the summer too and enjoy some quality time with family or friends, despite the continued need to live within the restrictions.
Speak to your usual Standard Life contact for more details about Separately Managed Accounts on Elevate or take a look at Elevate’s Separately Managed Accounts web page.
The value of investments can go down as well as up and your clients could get back less than they paid in.
The views expressed in this blog should not be regarded as financial advice.