5 minutes with… Rebecca Lucas
6 February 2020
This issue Rob Kingsbury spoke to Rebecca Lucas, founder of Lime Oiutsourced Paraplanning, about her decision to take the research work she had on platform comparison and turn it into an App – WrapCompare.
What was the catalyst to develop your own software/tool?
I was doing annual due diligence for one of my clients one day and we were at the stage when we needed to compare costs for different segments of his client bank (having manually done the qualitative research first). In previous years I had tried different tools but this client was never completely happy with them; many things I had tried were overly complicated and expensive. At that point I thought, if I can’t find what we need I’ll build it myself. And so WrapCompare was born.
It’s a big step to take – how daunting was it?
Because I was so passionate about what I was doing, it wasn’t daunting to get things started. I just decided to go for it!
Did being a paraplanner influence the design?
It definitely helped me. I started with a sheet of paper and sat down and designed my dream tool. I’m a strong believer in keeping things simple, so the overriding ethos from day 1 was that the tool needed to be quick, simple and effective. I’m also in the fortunate position of working with lots of great advisers and paraplanners so I asked them for features they’d like to see and made a list of key requirements of the ideal tool.
Whilst the tool was in development I was talking to advisers and paraplanners about it and they would say “but does it do x” or “what about this scenario”, then I would go off and get those things added. Feedback from others has been key and it will continue to be key going forward. We are really active in asking current users for feedback and suggestions.
How difficult was it to design in a complex and regularly changing market?
This was definitely the hardest part. The reason I started WrapCompare was to make comparing platform costs really simple for people (because they can be so complicated and vary between providers). Once you really delve into platform pricing you realise how they all vary (lots of them have tiered charges but there are quite a few variations within the tiered providers). The trickiest ones were providers that have different tiers for different tax wrappers – in calculating the tiered charge each month you need to pass the entire portfolio value through each tax wrapper tier. Luckily I enjoy maths and a good challenge but it was a great day when myself and the developers cracked that one!!
How does the tool make paraplanners’ lives easier?
I’ve had feedback so far that the tool is saving people lots of time as they can literally log in and do a comparison in a matter of minutes.
WrapCompare does away with the need for spreadsheets and trying to keep these up-to-date and accurate, which in itself saves people time. It’s great for annual due diligence but also once you have a panel/short list, it can quickly help you decide which provider from your shortlist would best suit an individual client (we have a filter function allowing users to only search certain platforms). We then provide a PDF for the file which summarises all of the research.
Something else that saves time is that once you have built a set of comparisons, they are stored and you can rerun them next year and the current platform charges will be applied.
How important was paraplanner/adviser feedback at the beta stage?
This was really important. I was so grateful to get detailed feedback from people I really respect – their comments were invaluable. My testers thought of a few things I hadn’t thought of so I set about making some changes before launch. I firmly believe in feedback so from day one we have actively sought input from users.
How can paraplanners find out more?
Go to www.wrapcompare.co.uk and we will give you a 30 free trial so you can see the system for yourself.
First published in the February 2020 issue of professional Paraplanner
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