Tech improvements driving efficiency for advisers

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MEDIA RELEASE: Adviser-led technology and services is increasing efficiencies and the ability for financial advisers to better service the investment needs of their clients, according to WealthO2 managing director, Shannon Bernasconi. 

Research undertaken by WealthO2 suggests advisers are increasingly needing efficiency and automation of compliance, like ROAs, audit trails, seamless model changes through to clients, alerts and monitoring. Flexible and reliable reporting systems that can integrate into financial planning software are now considered paramount.

Ms Bernasconi said technological enhancements and integration can address some of the increased burden of compliance.

“Technology that’s not only compatible with other systems but is comprised of open architecture is starting to have a material impact on the bottom line of financial advisers. 

“Technology should be of a standard that reduces administration, lowers costs, reduces risk and increases the efficiency and scale. Advisers want to build meaningful relationships and partnerships with providers that enhance their own value proposition, as opposed to buying a product from a shelf or a user licence,” she said.

TWD Australia’s general manager, Graeme Hyland, said the business uses a number of tech-based systems, including WealthO2’s MA Operator, and the compatibility between systems means the individual adviser is now able to generate a single view of every client.

“Ensuring the technology works together has been critical to business growth. It’s not just the client’s investment holding, but we’re also able to capture the specific, bespoke communications we send to them in the one view.

“Advisers have had immeasurable change to manage and adapt to in recent years and the technological component of our business administration has become that much more important as a result. We need a system that’s efficient for our clients, and for us as well, that provides the functionality required and is also robust, user friendly and competitively priced,” he said.

The Perth-based financial advisory firm has operated under a fee-for-advice model since 2009. All clients have a service agreement and meet at intervals – yearly, quarterly, monthly or more frequently – to review their progress with all the advice projects as well as their portfolios. 

“Our goal is that our advisers spend their time seeing clients and completing research with minimal time-consuming administration work.

“We use technology to drive efficiencies while at the same time providing more value to clients. A couple of years ago doing our tax was a two to three-month process for three full-time staff; now, we press a button and it’s done a quarter of the time, so those staff members are now working on projects that will directly drive business growth,” said Mr Hyland.

TWD Australia have moved 300 clients onto the WealthO2 system, with each client signing off on the process. As a result of the system enhancements, the business has plans to expand to the east coast in the coming months. TWD Australia has been recognised as the 2018 AFA Practice of the Year.