Layton Blackham is a directly authorised IFA firm with 10 client-facing advisers and nearly 30 supporting staff. Dividing our work between employee benefits and a wealth management team that offers an holistic financial planning service, we have segmented our work so that advisers specialise in each area rather than trying to be all things to all clients. We are happy that this has worked well for us.
Having adopted 1st Software in 2002, we have always appreciated the powerful contribution that technology can make to the efficiency and accuracy of running a business – any business – and the same is true for wrap. We selected the Standard Life platform and put our first client on to it in August 2006.
It is very easy, especially within the financial services community, to get caught up in the minutia of detail that surrounds any innovation and assume that your own industry is unique compared with all other business models. What we tried to do was step back from that position and look at the wider implications of using a wrap platform to improve the delivery of services that we could offer our clients.
Wrap is an inanimate object, a piece of software that will not make you a better adviser or a better firm, simply by being plugged in. It is an organisational tool that, if integrated into a structured business plan, where real thought has been given to how it will be used, can make the business of doing business easier for all involved.
Standard Life was in many ways an easy choice for LB. If you break down the process of delivering financial solutions to clients into three sections – advice, investment and administration – then the wrap provider must be able to excel at the last – administration.
Historically, we have had a very good working relationship with Standard and had confidence that it would be able to deliver that part of the package extremely well. Of course we have had teething issues but at all times its ability to listen to and understand our issues has made the partnership a good one.
Sean Condon is sales and marketing director at Layton Blackham