Elevate - our ambition for growth
When I last blogged on our provision of platform services, I was able to highlight our commitment to the Elevate proposition, explain how adviser feedback informed our decision to maintain Elevate and Wrap as two distinct platform propositions, and assure advisers of our intention to invest in the development of both services.
Today I'd like to share with you our ambitious growth strategy for Elevate. As an Elevate adviser, these growth plans will only be achieved if we earn your support; this means delivering more for your clients and your business.
Progress - and focus - based on your feedback
Since acquiring the business 5 months ago, we have inevitably had to focus on taking control of the platform, separating it from AXA and strengthening its commercial position. You will be pleased to hear that the bulk of this work is now complete, and we can begin to focus on our core ambition; making sure that the advisers using Elevate are successful in the market.
Over the course of the coming weeks, we will lay out much more detail about how we intend to do this, but I wanted to start today by giving you a clear picture of how the investment we're making in Elevate will drive meaningful enhancements to the platform. These enhancements are designed to address challenges you have raised, and help you capitalise on the unprecedented opportunities for both clients and advisers created by pension freedom.
Investing in advice, not re-platforming
Adviser focus has shifted to the consolidation and decumulation market, and many platforms are struggling to support this without completing significant - and costly - technology upgrades. A streamlined service for advisers serving clients in the run up to and throughout retirement has always been at Elevate's core, so our future investment will build on this.
To reiterate our stated strategy - we have no plans to re-platform Elevate.
Instead, our initial investment in Elevate will focus on the following key areas, designed to enable the efficient delivery of financial planning services at scale. The key priorities include:
- Bringing together one of the widest range of investment solutions in the market, supported by efficient selection processes and richer reporting for multi-manager funds
- Access to an extended range of leading discretionary model portfolio services, powered by Standard Life's tried and tested portfolio management capability.
- Improved integration and tools to support cash flow, CGT planning and pension income management.
- Enhanced user journeys including new ‘click and switch' processes, efficiently transferring assets between wrappers to maximise tax efficiency.
- Addressing your feedback in key areas of the platform, improved drawdown and cash management, reducing paperwork, and improving tax reporting.
A rolling programme
We have naturally prioritised investment in the areas of greatest immediate demand from firms like yours but there will inevitably be developments you want to see that we haven't been able to include in our initial shortlist. Please be assured that the priorities we have identified are just the first steps - we will be coming back to speak to you again later this year to understand where we should be focussed next.
Alongside this, we're working with partners on key innovations to support your business, such as digital self-service, robo-advice applications, and tools to drive increased productivity in the advice process.
We'll make our detailed roadmap available to you in the very near future, which will include more detail about individual developments and when you can expect to see them.
In terms of changes to the platform, the next thing you will see is the rebranding of the platform to Standard Life Elevate.
This change marks the beginning of our development work and you will see further releases periodically as we move forward together with additional information on new developments being prioritised.
Thank you for your support. We are committed to providing you with an excellent platform service and I hope we can build our businesses together going forward - watch this space.