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New forum aims to give IFAs tech voice

Leading IFAs have teamed up with the Financial Technology Research Centre to create a new body aimed at improving the way advisers interface with life offices.

The Adviser Technology Forum, headed by FTRC director Ian McKenna and backed by several major IFAs, aims to bring IFAs together to agree common technology needs and present product providers with a single view.

McKenna says the ATF will assist the work carried out by life and pension technology standards body Origo, which says it welcomes any body bringing together IFA views.

IFAs believe their sector has suffered from a lack of co-ordination of technology systems, meaning the delivery of solutions such as true end-to-end processing and full online business processing are still not yet a reality across the board.

Origo has been criticised by IFAs for taking a product-provider perspective when determining common standards. Positive Solutions chief executive David Harrison has slammed Origo as ineffective.

Speaking at Positive Solutions&#39 annual results presentation in London last week Harrison said: “Origo is like New Labour – it is difficult to see what it has done.”

But Origo chief executive Sandy Neilson says: “It is a naive remark. We develop standards, which allow others to pick up those standards. It is up to the market to provide the services, we will lay the platform. But I welcome IFAs collectively determining what their requirements are so we can take those views to the providers.”

Adviser Technology Forum head Ian McKenna says: “What we are doing is different to Origo. ATF is about identifying tactical solutions that will deliver real business benefits to the IFA community. We would love to talk to Origo and what we are doing should help them.”

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