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Ian McKenna: 13 fintech projects advisers should watch

A round-up of the best innovations presented at the recent PFS Festival of Financial Planning

The Personal Finance Society’s Festival of Financial Planning held last week was a wonderful event. It celebrated so much good work in the industry, demonstrating the focus on professionalism that now runs through the heart of what we do.

We hosted a Fintech Start Up Café, where a dozen innovative firms presented 10 minute pitches in rotation. For anyone who could not make the show, I would like to share here brief summaries of what each had to offer. All demonstrate ways in which advisers can use technology to operate more efficiently and profitably, and deliver better service.

360 LifeCycle

360 LifeCycle demonstrated how the advised mortgage process can be reduced to 30 minutes through effective use of technology. It brings together back office, point of sale and sourcing capabilities, optimising single entry of data across the whole process to remove rekeying. The system seeks to take full advantage of the forthcoming Open Banking initiative and the increased use of submission.

Model Office

Engage Insight’s Model Office service, known as Mo, is a RegTech proposition which enables investment advisers and asset managers to digitally benchmark compliance and professional performance against FCA rules and papers, as well as other regulatory directives such as Mifid II and the General Data Protection Regulation.

Using algorithms, it generates objective “strategy and steer” guidance to help firms address the constant flow of new regulatory challenges and improve compliance standards.

F&TRC CI definitions system

We demonstrated our new critical illness definitions system, which uses medical practitioner analysis of insurers’ different policy wording to help advisers compare between contracts to decide which are best suited to clients. We also showed our new Workplace Pension Robo Paraplanner service.

Timeline

Timeline is an app designed to help advisers identify sustainable withdrawal rates for clients. It uses extensive academic research, 115 years of actual investment return/inflation data and mortality data to assess how a retirement strategy might fare under various market conditions. The objective is to ensure drawdown portfolios will last a lifetime.

Goji

Goji opens up the direct lending asset class to advisers and wealth mangers through its diversified and professionally managed investment proposition and proprietary platform.

i4C Software

Cashflow modelling is an increasingly popular tool for advisers and i4C Software is a new player entering this market. Like many software suppliers in this busy space, it claims to be easier to use. If it can deliver on that promise it will be very valuable. My team is yet to have the chance to test this in detail but I will follow it with interest.

Jigsaw Tree

Jigsaw Tree provides software to help firms maximize the benefits from their adoption of technology. It helps advisers review and analyse existing workflows, then design best practice models to get the most out of their technology investments.

Money Alive’s Final Salary Portal

Money Alive’s Final Salary Portal for advisers aims to reduce risk, make transfer review processes more efficient and keep clients better informed. Clients can access an impartial video that educates them about the key stay in/transfer out facts they need to know while documenting their activity and confirmation of understanding.

Moneyhub’s PFM solution

Moneyhub has been actively involved as a member of the Open Banking steering group, so is ideally placed to help firms who wish to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise from January. Its excellent personal financial management solution enables clients to see all their finances in one place. I particularly like the way this PFM uses artificial intelligence to identify nudges that can guide customers towards better savings behaviour.

Moneyinfo’s PFM solution

Moneyinfo also showed its PFM service, which brings together a client’s entire financial life and associated documentation via a single login. It aggregates data from a wider range of services, including multiple investment platforms, back office systems and other data sources.

SaleMove

SaleMove showcased its integration with Intelliflo which allows advisers to communicate with clients through video, voice, phone and co-browsing, all in Intelliflo’s PFP environment and with no downloads or installations.

Having spent a lot of time looking at the various screen sharing systems advisers can use to conduct online meetings with clients, Salemove (which can also be used as a standalone system for non-Intelliflo customers) is my current favourite.

Selectapension’s Pension Monster

Selectapension showed its Pension Monster: a free online guidance tool which can be used to engage and educate clients about pension savings, and streamline advisers’ fact-finding processes.

Fundament

Fundment is a robo proposition that enables advisers to serve smaller clients profitably. The company has developed a digital discretionary fund manager proposition, which incorporates execution and a range of wrappers including Sipp. It claims advisers using it do not require an additional platform in order to run a centralised investment proposition or automated advice solution.

These propositions are all worth advisers spending time to examine. Space limits the amount of detail I can go into here so  an extended analysis can be found at www.digitalwealthinsights.com/.

Ian McKenna is director of the Finance & Technology Research Centre

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