The talk of the town
Back in 2006, everyone seemed to be talking about Standard Life's Wrap platform. It was the hot topic amongst advisers at many different events, and even some of our clients had heard of Wrap.
So I decided to do a straw poll to find out more. I asked ten people what they thought the platform's unique selling point was. The results were startling. Why? I got back ten different answers.
And this told me two things. Firstly, the Wrap platform must have something going for it – clearly it was hitting the mark for a lot of businesses. Secondly, I'd have to try it and see what it could do for Cambrian.
Moving to Wrap
It wasn't long before we started talking to Standard Life about the platform. At the end of the day it was actually one of the technology experts at Standard Life who made us realise how effectively it could manage clients' portfolios.
What's more, the Retail Distribution Review was on the horizon. So we knew we were going to have to change our working model. A platform felt like it was the right way to go. And I'd been working together with Standard Life for years – so I felt in safe hands. It became clear to me that the time was right to move to Wrap.
A real transformation
From the moment we started using Wrap, we had over 2,000 funds to choose from, which was a huge change for us; we'd never had anything like that range of funds available using our previous solution.
We actually went live in March 2009, the very month the banking crash came to an end. This period of financial crisis had unsettled a lot of our clients. So changing onto the Wrap platform made them feel like they had more protection. That was definitely one of the benefits.
A better way to work
Wrap also meant that our back office staff could now perform functions that used to be carried out by advisers. This meant the advisers could spend more time growing the business. It's no wonder our turnover has trebled in the seven years we've been live.
In fact, the Wrap platform has helped us to positively change the structure of our business from being dependent on initial commission, to having an embedded, recurring income that’s focused on client service – with the knock-on effect of attracting more clients.
But what's kept us with the Wrap platform isn't just that. It's that Standard Life didn't just sell it to us, set it up, and run. If we ever have an issue, they get involved, and take away a wish list of improvements that we want to see being made. They give us a date… and then they always deliver on time.
Roger Taylor was talking to us from Cambrian Chartered Financial Planners .