Elevate offers a range of support tools which can help you save time and run your business as efficiently as possible, as Steve Owen, Head of Elevate Platform Proposition explains.
Hopefully, like myself, you’ll have enjoyed some downtime over the summer, but now it’s back to work and with a bit of a bump!
I always think this time of year is probably the busiest time of year as we focus on the things we know we need to get done between now and December.
Of course, within an adviser firm, the pressures on time are never ending. It’s one of the reasons why Elevate developed a range of tools on the platform which have been designed to help support you with what we all know are the three main challenges for advisers running a business.
The first challenge you consistently tell me about is managing client relationships. I know there’s a huge amount of work involved in getting to know your clients’ financial affairs and understanding their aspirations so you can deliver good quality advice for better outcomes.
The second challenge is around managing your clients’ investments, whether it’s their CIP or their CRP. You need to make sure you’re using the right investment solutions to meet your clients’ needs, and have the checks and balances in place so that investments are performing as expected in terms of growth.
The third challenge, particularly post pension freedoms, is the number of clients who are now opting to use a drawdown arrangement instead of purchasing an annuity. It means there’s an ongoing demand for advice and time-intensive tasks need to be carried out regularly such as reviewing clients’ income levels, moving money into drawdown arrangements and monitoring the sustainability of withdrawals.
Elevate’s tools offer a broad range of capabilities that can help you with these challenges. Those of you who already use the tools also consistently tell me that they help you deliver both your initial and ongoing client propositions far more efficiently than other platform support tools on the market.
In terms of the first couple of challenges I mentioned above, getting to know the client and managing their investments, Elevate can support fact finding through its integrated risk assessment tool. It’s a tool that can either be used on platform or on a standalone basis and it will allow you to easily assess your client’s attitude to risk. The tool then lets you select from a wide range of easy-to-access investment solutions based on the findings and which can be configured to support your client’s CIP or CRP.
The risk assessment tool also lets you generate a report with data tailored for your client, which shows where they are invested and how those investments are performing. The report can be generated as a PDF or as an editable Word document so you can extract sections for your own client review files.
In terms of the other main challenge I outlined above around managing clients’ income in drawdown, Elevate offers an online drawdown wizard. It’s a tool that allows you full control of the income your client takes from their Elevate investments and cash can be paid out any day of the month, not just on specific days. It also allows you to combine payments and take income from multiple tax wrappers so clients can generate a tax-efficient income in retirement.
But the main benefit of the online drawdown wizard is that it frees up your time to focus on what the client values most which is that face-to-face contact to reassure them that their financial affairs are in order.
One other useful feature of the online drawdown wizard is that it reduces the form-filling repetition that may be required by other platforms and which I know continues to be a bugbear of the many adviser firms I speak to.
Elevate provides various degrees of two-way data integration with your back office systems that improves the connectivity between the platform and the other pieces of technology you might be using and so removes the need for duplication of effort. We’re always looking at how we can increase those levels of data integration and further improve that connectivity.
There are too many tools on Elevate to list all of them here but the point that I keep coming back to time and time again is that our job is never done. We’re constantly looking to innovate with our tools so you can fully support your clients.
As part of that, we recently launched a business management reporting tool which is a really useful tool that allows you to upload Elevate’s business management reports to help check, for example, that your clients have sufficient cash to pay charges or to identify unused ISA allowance or GIA assets which could be switched.
We’ve also just launched our capital gains tool which can help you manage your clients’ CGT position by calculating gains and losses and assessing the impact of different withdrawal strategies.
Although we all know it’s going to be a busy time over the next few months, I hope Elevate’s support tools, coupled with our market-leading service, can help you gear up towards meeting your goals by the end of the year.
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.