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5 minutes with… Glen Sweet, Transact

11 April 2018

Glen Sweet, head of sales, Transact will be presenting at selected Technical Insight Seminars this year, focussing on choice and use of platforms and in particular, determining long term suitability of the various platform choices, for the benefit of the client.

Here we asked him to describe the support Transact provides to paraplanners.

Platform support service is often the subject of paraplanner discussion. What level of support do you offer, in terms of interaction, answering queries and practical help with cases?
Transact engages with both adviser firm employed paraplanners, and outsourced paraplanning businesses. Ordinarily this interaction is done face-to-face but we can accommodate remote support too by way of a ‘LiveChat’ system as well as our new ‘Co-Browse’ capability – this is essentially a screen-sharing tool where we can control the mouse, walking people through more complex areas. We cannot though click anything, that needs to be done at the paraplanner’s end.
Face-to-face support is provided, particularly for first and/or complex cases. All paraplanners are given dedicated individuals for their region that visit their offices to walk them through cases; provide extensive training and guidance on how to get the best out of the functionality and website; look for paraplanner feedback on how systems and processes can be enhanced still further; and generally be available to assist in any aspect of the practicalities of how to get the best out of the system.

Do you provide technical and educational facilities?
Transact has a dedicated Technical team that can be accessed by all paraplanners and advisers. This is for assistance on tax, trust, pension and other technical matters that paraplanners need help with.

What three main attributes would you recommend paraplanners look for in a platform provider?
[1] Focus – if the provider is a focussed business and just concentrates on being a great platform, with no distractions, it’s much more likely to deliver on its promises
[2] Ownership of software – if the providers owns and controls its software then it can direct and control its own future, including delivering new services, wrappers & functionality as and when they become available (JISA, LISA, FAD, UFPLS etc)
[3] A demonstrable track record in delivering exemplary service – very easy to promise, of course, but delivering on that promise has been more than patchy across the platform market for many years – to the detriment of advisers, paraplanners and clients alike.

What one key question should paraplanners ask when conducting due diligence on a platform provider?
The question I suggest paraplaners ask as part of their due dilgence is: Are you able to show me any detailed independent research to confirm that you deliver on your promises versus the other platform market participants?

Is there anything you’d like paraplanners to do before they attend your presentations at the Technical insight Seminars?
Be prepared to ask all presenters to provide detailed evidence to back any assertions they make.