True Potential has launched a direct-to-consumer platform and network arm to sit alongside its national IFA business.
The True Potential Investor platform charges 40 basis points and launches with both Isa and general investment accounts.
Risk profiling is provided by Morningstar, with investors guided into funds based on their risk score.
It acts as a standalone proposition but includes an option to seek advice, linking clients to the firm’s advice arm.
True Potential has developed the technology in-house and it is available through web browsers on Apple and Android mobile devices.
The firm has also announced the launch of a network arm called True Potential Associate Partners. The network will sit alongside True Potential’s existing national IFA arm True Potential Wealth Management, which has 435 advisers.
True Potential managing partner David Harrison says: “Advisers will always play an important role in educating and transacting financial matters for clients. True Potential Investor will complement the existing advice market as the more frequently a client encounters a product – for example, an Isa – the more confident they will become in exploring other more complex financial solutions that require professional advice.
“We want to democratise savings and investments and True Potential Investor will bring a huge amount of investing power within reach of far more people.”
On the launch of its network arm, True Potential says: “The introduction of the RDR, combined with trends in society and technology, has made the old network and national models unprofitable and, quite frankly, unworkable. True Potential Associate Partners offers a modern alternative.”
True Potential has taken a different approach in the design of its direct-to-consumer platform, by starting with the user experience and then fitting the underlying data underneath.
It may be that the simple design works well largely because the choice is restricted to a handful of funds.
That said, those more comfortable with investing may feel constrained, potentially limiting True Potential’s appeal to less experienced investors who find it refreshing not to be deluged by the entire funds universe.
Part of the company’s rationale for the D2C launch is that direct investors saving into an Isa, for example, could well become advised clients in the future.
The D2C platform also fits in nicely with True Potential’s recently launched ImpulseSave service. This gives clients and non-advised customers the ability to top up fund holdings through its platform on a self-serve basis from as little as £1.
ImpulseSave is also an interesting development as it looks to encourage regular contributions that would otherwise be spent as disposable income.
In practice, it remains to be seen whether consumers make that transition from non-advised to advised.
True Potential will have to work hard to support its direct and advice business in equal measure and continue to demonstrate the value of its advice offering.
Michael Glenister is platforms and distribution reporter at Money Marketing