In building our new investment and client proposition, Bluefin researched advice models from around the world – South Africa, the US, Australia, Singapore. We looked at platform and trading technology, self-employed or employed models, along with different operational models such as whether it was more effective to pool paraplanners, for example.
In a lot of countries, they don’t have the product/wrapper problem that we have in the UK, which makes wrap implementation a lot easier. For us, financial strength became a key consideration when it came to wrap implementation and we hired AKG to assess this for us. Transact suits most of our clients very well.
For certain client segments, we saw benefits in using a more bundled approach. The approach taken for the mass-affluent is a dilemma for many advisers. Although we don’t have any downward pressure from our owners, Axa, our early analysis has suggested that the Elevate platform suits our needs well.
For the core of our investment proposition, we decided on a blend of passive and indextracking funds and now use these for the core of any market. We use active funds where we want a tilt to different market or an income slant. We have a three-tier liquidity prog-ramme, dividing investors’ portfolios into short-term income needs, capital needs of up to three years and then long-term capital needs.
From here we build a lifetime cashflow model based on a client’s current income and asset picture – where do they need to spend less or save more? We also do a risk profile, which looks at the psychological approach to taking risk. Finally, we reach an agreement with the client about what they need to be doing now. We can then create a strategic asset allocation model that shows what might happen to the portfolio in certain situations. This helps our planners to create a bespoke plan with the client.
We are still refining our proposition for the massaffluent market. One of the biggest problems we face is that there is no such thing as a cash investor.
People will have their assets tied up in a holiday home or something that contributes to their future lifestyle. The baby boomers often have all their wealth tied up in property.
Bluefin relaunched its proposition in July. The group had 400 planners and we were never going to change their minds overnight but we believe we now have the right people in place to create a strong service-oriented business.