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Ex-Ashcourt Rowan boss to launch online simplified advice service

Former Ashcourt Rowan Financial Planning chief executive Chris Williams is planning to launch an online and telephone-based simplified advice service.

WealthHorizon will launch this summer with financial backing from a group of private individuals including Williams, who is also a board director at the Institute of Financial Planning.

It aims to offer a guided advice service online with consumers given the option to speak with a remote-based adviser.

Williams says the firm will start with less than 10 advisers who will be qualified to at least QCF level four.

The service will be powered by the Parmenion platform.

Clients with more complex financial planning needs will be referred to external advice firms offering face-to-face advice. There will be no referral payments.

Williams says the firm has not yet decided on a charging structure.

He says:  “The RDR has left a gap in the advice market, and many people have been left without access to advice. We are providing a solution for those who have been left without a suitable way of investing, especially those who want their investments to work hard for them, but do not necessarily have needs which are complicated enough to warrant a traditional financial adviser. 

“We can see that part of the population in the UK is being left in the financial shadows and are not being served appropriately by the industry. This has to change. We feel there is a real gap in the market for consumer services which have the advantages of both online and human interaction. 

“In the future, advisers will need to efficiently service a greater number of smaller clients. As such, we are developing a way of providing a greater online capability to advisers, enabling clients to undertake more transactions themselves.”

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