Alliance Trust Savings chief operating officer Allison Fower has left the business after just eight months with the firm.
ATS confirmed Fower left in August. Prior to joining ATS she spent two years as platform and proposition consultant at Prudential.
At ATS Fower was responsible for operations, change, IT and proposition.
Candid Financial Advice director Justin Modray calls Fower’s departure “bitterly disappointing”. He says Fower helped to improve service at ATS but has noticed standards have slipped since she left the business.
Modray says: “We manage to shield our clients pretty well from ATS blunders by spending hours each week chasing outstanding issues and getting errors fixed, but this is clearly not sustainable.”
He says the platform is the best option for many of his clients because of the flat fee charging structure but is frustrated with service issues.
An ATS spokeswoman says: “We recognise the recent failings in our customer service as we work to upgrade our technology systems and apologise for the frustration this has caused advisers. Improving customer service is a key priority and we are investing in additional staff and training to ensure we provide the highest quality service to our customers.”
Modray says: “There are significant backlogs across their business causing lengthy delays when trying to open new accounts or transfer in assets from elsewhere. We’ve also experienced numerous clerical errors, problems getting paid adviser fees and a distinct lack of urgency and initiative.
“And when making formal complaints ATS struggles to respond or resolve within FCA timescales. Overall it’s a very frustrating experience made worse by a severe lack of communication with advisers about these issues and the never ending re-platforming project.”