Since the 1970s the financial services industry has seen segment after segment all into automation. Starting with electronic trading in the 1980s, we’ve witnessed the gradual technology-driven death by 1,000 cuts of manual processes within financial markets. Yet a surprising number of dusty manual processing corners still remain. It’s always a surprise to lift the hood and find spreadsheets, mail merge word templates, faxes and snail mail underpinning sophisticated financial services, yet it still happens.
Until recently, one such manual corner was the world of the independent adviser. With increased regulation came increased administration burdens for the practice manager in record of advice documents, ongoing monitoring and document storage and audit. Best interest duties compel practices to review the traditional platform costs their clients are being charged, looking for off-platform solutions. This move is weighed against the effort and costs of trade execution, data collation and client reporting. The highest level of complexity lay within Managed Accounts (MA) and Managed Discretionary Accounts (MDA). These service offerings, where financial advisers maintain portfolios on their clients’ behalf, require regular review and optimisation, particularly when markets are changing. This process, which includes a number of steps, has traditionally relied on a mix of systems that could include faxes, paper mailings, email, spreadsheets and more. It was a significant point of pain for advisers and clients alike who felt the frustration of having to rely upon delays caused from manual processing when responding to changes in client needs and market conditions.
WealthO2’s solutions were created to remove manual processing from the MA and MDA segment of the financial services world. In bringing automation to compliance, execution processing, broker data connectivity, rebalancing and sophisticated performance analytics, we think we’ve successfully tackled this problem bringing efficiency and scalability to advice firms. Our evolution will be continually guided by the feedback and design ideas from our adviser clients.