FS3 has always embraced an open-architecture approach by looking to differentiate between the costs of the tax wrapper, the underlying investment and the advice.
This resulted in the use of Sipps combined with multi-manager Tips for our pension business and the use of platforms and multi-manager bonds for our investment business.
In 2004, we considered wrap as a concept and it clearly offered a number of benefits. We believe that a true wrap must fully embrace technology, enabling investments/holdings to be consolidated on to one platform, thus simplifying reporting and the reviewing process.
The charging structure of the wrap must be clearly defined and transparent, ensuring that there can be no product bias within the platform. This led to selecting James Hay as our preferred wrap provider.
The efficiencies of wrap has enabled us to focus on providing bespoke financial advice. This, coupled with the introduction of client access via the internet, has enabled clients to “see their overall financial position and has resulted in a noticeable increase in clients wanting to become more involved with their planning.
We have significantly increased turnover without any major increase in overheads and put much of this down to the efficiencies afforded to us by wrap.
Mike Godfrey is managing director of FS3.