As we approach the end of the year, Steve Owen, Head of Elevate Platform Proposition, reflects on what has been achieved over the past few months and has some other news to share with you.
I hope you managed to catch my very first podcast last month on how Elevate can support advisers with their responsibilities under the PROD rules.
I also hope you found it useful and just as an update on the more personal challenge I mentioned for those of you who tuned in, I’m pleased to report that I’ve successfully navigated the world of pushchairs and prams and I’ve found the perfect baby travel system.
Although it was my first Elevate podcast, regular readers will know that I’ve been writing these Elevate blogs since the start of the year and I’ve really enjoyed sharing my thoughts with you around how Elevate can support your clients and your business. Elevate is quick and easy to use and once you have the platform embedded in your business, it integrates seamlessly with your back office systems.
A few highlights of Elevate, highlights which I first mentioned in these blogs, really stick out in my mind, in particular our pricing change. It has been hugely successful from our perspective and I know the new charging structure has further helped you demonstrate the value of advice.
The reduced costs are testament to the strength and financial stability of Standard Life, our commitment to support Elevate over the long term, and our overall dedication to delivering value for your clients.
One other highlight for me this year was when Elevate launched its new Separately Managed Accounts (SMA) functionality. SMA is leading-edge technology which allows you to efficiently invest in outsourced managed portfolio solutions to meet the needs of your clients.
The technology is currently used by Aberdeen Standard Investments to offer a variety of portfolio options including the new MyPortfolio range and, looking to the future, we are currently in the process of rolling out SMA to a number of discretionary fund managers.
Last but not least, at the heart of every good platform proposition is an outstanding customer service team and service continues to be a stand-out feature of Elevate. I know that you put your faith in the platforms which have great customer service at their core and which go that extra mile when needed. It doesn’t matter how good the online technology is, there will always be times when you want to pick up the phone for some help or reassurance. So for me, exceptional customer service is one of the differentiating factors for a modern platform proposition.
It’s why I’m so proud that Elevate has been awarded a Defaqto Gold Service Rating this year and more recently, Elevate was voted the Best Platform Provider (AUM up to £25 billion AUM) at the Schroders UK Platform Awards 2019.
The continuity and great service that Elevate offers is more important to me now more than ever. Because, as you may have read in the press recently, Standard Life Aberdeen has introduced a new parental leave policy, one of the most progressive, family-friendly policies in the UK and I’ve decided, with my partner, to take full advantage of the benefit.
So while I am on parental leave from the start of next year, my colleague Alastair Ward will take over as Head of Elevate Platform Proposition. Alastair has worked for Standard Life for a number of years and has vast experience in the industry. Having worked closely with Alastair for some time, I know that Elevate will go from strength to strength with his insight and knowledge, and with your invaluable support.
It also reinforces the depth and breadth of expertise that Standard Life can call on and means I’m able to take parental leave confident in the knowledge that my co-workers are more than equipped to make sure Elevate meets your and your clients’ needs.
My decision to turn my attention to child rearing for a while also means that this will be my final blog for a bit. It’s a great privilege to be Head of Elevate Platform Proposition and I want to thank each of you for all your support over the past couple of years.
If you'd like to find out more about how Elevate can help support your business, get in touch also, you can find out more about Elevate’s Separately Managed Accounts technology
The value of investments can go down as well as up and could be worth less than originally invested.
The views expressed in this blog should not be regarded as financial advice.