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Technology no Covid panacea – NextWealth research

10 February 2021

Technology has proved invaluable during the pandemic but new research has shown that switching to digital systems and virtual communications may not have save advisers time or money, in some cases adding complexity.

The research, carried out by NextWealth, revealed that it currently takes advisers an average of three to four weeks to onboard a new client at a cost of around £1,500 across all firms.

Talking to the results, as part of NextWealth’s advice tech live webinar, Jennifer Ellis, director, Wellington Wealth, said that despite starting with a tech-first approach, the firm has had to set up 42 different operations to transact with providers.

Ellis said: “Having to deal with so much software that has different functionality adds complexity in terms of training and is a drain on our time and resources. I’d love to see the industry work together to understand what will make processes easier for advisers and end clients.”

This was echoed by Adrian Murphy, CEO, Murphy Wealth, who expressed frustration at the lack of joined-up processes.

Murphy commented: “The whole of the financial services industry needs to work together to ensure end clients benefit from the great potential that technology has to offer. The past year has clearly demonstrated the power of digital as a hugely positive communications enabler, but we still have a long way to go on integrations and collaboration to achieve the types of cost and efficiency savings that would make a significant difference to total cost of advice.”

Murphy believes that while the financial services industry is well served by tech innovators, advisers should look beyond what the specialists are offering and seek the advice of technology experts.

Murphy added: “As advisers we are bombarded by new fintech software proposals that are tailored for us and promise to save us time. However, one of the most useful software packages we use has nothing to do with financial advice, yet it is saving us huge amounts of time and improving efficiency for general business functions.

“I’d suggest we look beyond what’s available specifically for advisers. There’s some great general tech out there that firms may find serve them better than the fintech solutions currently on offer.”

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