Rob Kingsbury spoke to Matt Baird, MD of Accelerate Adviser Solutions, about the founding of the company and its plans for the future.
Accelerate Adviser Solutions celebrated its first anniversary as an outsourced paraplanning firm at the end of September 2023, and has a 3-5 year plan to become a more holistic service company, capable of handling a range of back-office needs for financial advice firms.
Formed from an established team of six paraplanners and administrators. who were made redundant from the same firm in 2022, Accelerate currently offers financial advice firms paraplanning and administration services as well as business consultancy, through its Accelerated Planning Process.
Managing director Matt Baird (pictured) explains: “When we set up Accelerate, we knew we wanted to offer more than standard paraplanning and administration. The original team had years of experience and we had developed a streamlined planning process. We built on this with the Accelerated Planning Process. This helps financial advice firms address the process pinch points in their businesses and become more efficient, allowing the advisers to know their back-office is running smoothly, and turn their attention back to advising and growing their businesses.”
Firms often have similar issues that they are dealing with, Baird says: “We find that many firms have grown organically and do things the way they have always been done, because it still works. But in reality, they have outgrown the processes they have in place. They know they have a problem but they don’t have the staff and/or time to sit back and look at how their processes could be made more efficient.
“We can use our years of experience and our tried-and-tested processes and templates to help streamline each business’s workflows. Simple tools like a means to track and implement the planning and review process can make a huge difference to the way a firm operates.
“We’ll find that advisers are having to write suitability reports to help their staff get reports out of the door, when they should be focussed on advising and bringing in new business. Using our outsourced services – including our processes and templates, which we can tailor depending on a business’s needs – they can quickly free up their time to work on their business rather than in their business.”
Accelerate and the advice firm will have a discovery meeting to ensure they are the right fit, then Accelerate offers a 50% discount for the first three cases as the firms start to work together. “We don’t insist on a retainer for new clients,” Baird says, “but all of our existing clients have moved to a retainer basis, so they know they can call on us for a set number of cases each month and then pay to add cases as needed beyond that.”
The team has experience across a broad range of back-office software, including Intelliflo, X-Plan, JCS, Cashcalc, Voyant, Truth , as well as a range of platforms. “There’s not a back-office or platform we can’t work with,” Baird says.
Based in Oakham, Rutland, the firm has adviser clients around the country and is looking to expand its client base and its staff over the next few years. “We all live locally so will come into the office 2-3 days a week, to meet and work as a team but we also work virtually as well. As we expand, we’re targeting 20 staff within the 5 years, we expect we’ll have staff around the country,” Baird says.
The 3-5 year plan has the current paraplanning, administration and business services at its core, Baird says, but Accelerate intends to add further consultancy services including marketing assistance into the mix. “We think we have a unique business proposition which we can build on to offer a more holistic service for advisers, taking the business pressures off of their backs and allowing them to spend more time on their clients,” he concludes.