The Transformation of Client Engagement

April 16, 2019

You may have heard reports in the industry about a new private wealth management (PWM) proposition called focus:wealth.

The new focus:wealth software simplifies, streamlines and automates business processes to let wealth management teams, intermediaries and consumers focus on accomplishing their goals with the minimum of effort. It has been built with wealth managers in mind. Focusing on creating the highest standard in the client experience and supported by the most extensive end-to-end capability in the UK’s advice market place.

This new proposition focus:wealth was first created as part of a project between Aberdeen Standard Capital (ASC) and Focus Solutions. ASC wanted an enhancement to its digital capability and Focus had the means to provide the improvement.

In this article Focus’ Dave Upton illustrates how focus:wealth could help modernise the wealth market and change the way wealth managers and private banks interact with their clients.

How did this opportunity come about for Focus?

Focus Solutions have a proven track record in providing enhanced digital solutions to the adviser market and partnered with Aberdeen Standard Capital to build focus:wealth.

There were two key drivers to the product; first was to enhance the client and adviser experience through our digital capability and the second was to improve business efficiency. The product acts as a hub to manage client relationships, workflow, compliance and production of client reporting and documents. The product can help bring together a number of systems/technology and bring capabilities into a single solution.

Dave Upton, Managing Director, Focus Solutions

So, you were looking to build a brand new technology together rather than just delivering something you already had?

Yes, we have worked to build a new PWM product. We now have a solution that spans both the DFM and the advice space for hybrid firms.

Focus have concentrated on ensuring that focus:wealth’s integration with back office systems is robust . There is little point building an impressive digital front end offering if this comes with a huge amount of manual work in order to connect to the back office — we are moving past that.

How do you believe the software is going to benefit the industry?

Our technology will enable firms to offer their clients portfolio information in a more user friendly, digitally enabled manner, enabling them to access their portfolios more easily and, most importantly, firms will be able to communicate with clients in a secure and safe way.

What would you say are the key internal efficiencies that result from using this proposition?

DFMs need to generate meeting packs for their clients containing detailed portfolio information. focus:wealth can now auto-generate these within the system which saves a huge amount of time. Firms also need to regularly review the suitability of their investments against their client’s risk appetite. Our new offering automates all of this creating more time for client portfolio managers.

In addition, when portfolio managers meet potential new clients they usually present a proposal to outline how they would invest the clients’ money and why they believe the proposal is suitable to the new client’s objectives. Again, through our system these will be auto generated, enabling portfolio managers to spend even more time with clients.

What makes this solution, focus:wealth, market leading?

Having a strong client portal as well as client facing capabilities which lead straight into the back office functions makes this a compelling proposition. A lot of private client businesses are trying to bring new technology propositions to market, built around a disconnected toolset, which means they could be building inefficiency into the heart of what they are trying to achieve. We can provide a one-stop solution to meet their requirements

We have built focus:wealth on the same technology stack that powers the rest of our software — that means firms can have a fully integrated, fully joined up advice and DFM offering. It will give control and efficiency in a way that brings together all of the elements required to monitor your business as well as documenting suitability processes and producing quarterly reporting packs whilst retaining a full audit trail.

Do you believe there is a reluctance within the industry to embrace new technology?

I do not think there is reluctance as all businesses want to offer a better service to their clients. But, in some businesses, there is hesitation and for valid reasons. I think it is fair to say that a number of companies are well down the delivery path and seeing the benefits of enhanced technology, but for others they have yet to start on the journey. Some of the reasons it takes time to develop a digital offering are, the high cost of development, the need for a large amount of change resource to be allocated and the preparation of the business for delivery. We can help business overcome these hesitations.

 

Andy Brodie Chief Operating Officer, Aberdeen Standard Capital

 

Commenting on focus:wealth, Andy Brodie, Chief Operating Officer, Aberdeen Standard Capital said:

 

“We have created a good partnership with Focus Solutions; are now using focus:wealth within our business and have started to see the benefits it can bring.”