Your business

How Wrap evolved

Guest authors

As part of our Wrap 10th anniversary celebrations, Ian Hindle, Regional Business Development Manager at Standard Life, explains what the secrets behind its success have been.

"I was first involved with Wrap back in 2005, when it was still just a project. But as we started talking to advisers about the platform, we were able to fully develop Wrap. This was based on their feedback. Based on what they really wanted.

It was something of a success from the beginning

After this initial development phase, Wrap officially launched in 2006. And, because we'd been listening to advisers throughout all of the development, it was a something of a success from the beginning."

A different approach

"Back in 2006, there were a handful of existing platforms out there. But we took a different approach with Wrap. Through even the most uncertain times, the platform's always offered advisers the right tools and support to give them confidence.

The platform has always offered advisers the right tools and support

There's always been a wide choice of wrappers and investments. The chance to bulk trade with more clients at the same time. Not to mention, things like portfolio analysis and rebalancing.

Advisers have always liked the flexibility that Wrap offers too. Especially when it comes to retirement options or income management. Of course, the platform also cuts down on the paperwork – thanks to document management and a better adviser charging structure. That's something everyone likes.

With Wrap there are a huge range of individual benefits that feed into the platform's overall success. It offers something for everyone. And, from the start, we've had a great distribution team with excellent IFA relationships."

The importance of technology

"The Wrap launch was in part due to the fact the technology was right at the time. And, as the platform's developed, this has gone hand-in-hand with technological advances.

Technology is hugely important to the adviser business

In more general terms, I think technology's hugely important to the adviser business. Any company making the most of technology will be more attractive to buyers and so more valuable. Risks can also be reduced and profitability increased.

In fact, advances in technology can do a lot of the processing work these days – giving advisers more time to spend building relationships with their clients.

It's not going to threaten the adviser community and true advice and planning will continue, as a result of the increasing complexity around financial matters, in particular the "Pensions Freedoms". Clients will need, more than ever, access to ongoing emotional and educational support when it comes to their financial matters."

Looking ahead

"Over the last 10 years, we've continued to develop the Wrap platform as the technology's improved – and the industry's changed. To do that, we've had a dedicated and skilled team with the ability to support the Wrap proposition at all levels throughout the business

We've always listened to what advisers want from wrap as the industry's changed too. This feedback played a big part in the initial success of the platform. And it's also something that's vital for its future success.

Going forward, we're fully committed to Wrap. We're constantly investing in everything from people to technology and the level of service that we can offer. That's why I think Wrap will continue to be a success for the next 10 years – and beyond."

A dedicated and skilled team with the ability to support the wrap proposition at all levels throughout the business.