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IFAs shun robo-advice plans over profitability concerns


IFAs are put off launching robo-advice services by fears they will not turn a profit in the long run, according to discretionary fund manager Thesis Asset Management.

Over the past year Thesis has consulted with a number of IFA firms on building digital advice offerings but some remain sceptical on how this could turn into a profitable business.

Thesis director of marketing and business development Laurence Cook says it has been advising Tom French & Associates, an 18-strong adviser firm.

The firm has abandoned initial plans to white-label a robo-advice proposition with the DFM. It has opted for a Thesis-led digital marketing strategy instead.

Cook says firms have been put off by seeing big names struggle to make profits.

He says: “They’ve already seen with the likes of Nutmeg that, despite their website looking very good, they’re struggling to turn huge amounts of investments into profits.”

“So why would a very small firm [build a robo-advice offering]? How would they do something different?”

Cook adds: “Monetising a digital offering…You’ve got to be particularly careful going into that.

“They thought about a robo solution to capture younger people but in the end they changed their minds.The proposition they wanted to deliver is personal advice. What they really wanted is to capture younger people so they didn’t want to deliver advice digitally.”


FCA extends robo-advice team to help guidance solutions

The FCA is extending its robo-advice team to also help firms wanting to develop guidance solutions The Advice Unit was set up in the wake of the Financial Advice Market Review last year to assist companies wanting to bring mass-market automated advice models to market by offering dedicated support on regulatory requirements and the authorisations […]


Standard Life to offer IFAs robo-advice help in Elevate shake-up

Standard Life is exploring robo-advice tools as it sets out to advisers its plans for acquired platform Elevate, including a rebrand. A blog on the Standard Life website today by Standard Life adviser and wealth manager propositions head David Tiller explains further the company’s plans for Elevate. This week Standard Life announced it would be improving […]


Ian McKenna: Advisers can cash in on new robo-advice options

Last month saw the launch of Dynamic Planner’s Access Advice; another significant option for advisers who wish to offer their clients automated advice. Distribution Technology has approximately 7,500 users of its Dynamic Planner system. Add to this the 14,500 users of Intelliflo’s Intelligent Office (which provides the Automated Advice function) and, while there will be […]


Almost nine in 10 employers admit failings with post-DRA compliance

The default retirement age (DRA) was abolished more than three years ago, yet new research from Jelf Employee Benefits suggests that the vast majority of employers still have some way to go to fully understand, comply and communicate the landmark legislation change that prevents older employees being forcibly retired on the grounds of age alone.


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