This week’s business and technology updates
Selected business and technology updates announced this week.
Paraplanners to debate need for Paraplanning Standard
Dates and venues have been announced for three debates on whether a Paraplanning Standard is required by the industry.
Those in favour of a Standard, which includes Richard Allum (pictured) managing director of outsourced paraplanning firm The Paraplanners, say that currently there is a wide range of qualifications and capabilities held amongst those calling themselves paraplanners and there now needs to be a benchmark or kitemark against which both paraplanners and employers can measure the skills and capabilities of an individual paraplanner.
Qualifications and skills sets among paraplanners can range, for example, from no qualifications and limited experience of writing suitability reports to being Chartered/Certified or a Fellow of the professional bodies and being heavily involved in the advice process to the client, including taking part in client meetings.
The debates are open to the paraplanning community and are on:
4 March 2016, Picturehouse, central London
10 March 2016, The Chambers, Leeds
17 March 2016, Howwow online (1pm-2pm)
Further details can be found at: the Paraplanners Powwow website
Bespoke SIPP launch from Dentons and Transact
SIPP provider and administrator Dentons Pension Management has joined forces with Transact to launch the Dentons-Transact Bespoke SIPP.
The Dentons-Transact Bespoke SIPP will extend Transacts’ proposition (currently over 50,000 SIPP customers) as Dentons will allow assets in commercial property and unquoted shares to be held within their wrapper. Efficiencies gained through systems integration between Transact and Dentons have enabled the latter to reduced the fee for clients setting up Transact wrappers/portfolios.
Jonathan Gunby, chief development officer at Transact, said that currently, if a client wishes to hold commercial property or unquoted shares within a SIPP wrapper they must use a specialist in this area for the SIPP wrapper and then open a SIPP General Investment Account with Transact for managing funds and quoted shares. “We have worked with Dentons to create a more joined-up proposition, a consolidated view of assets and at a lower cost too.”
P2P platform Abundance Investment will offer IFISA from 6 April
P2P finance platform Abundance Investment has announced that it has FCA approval as an ISA manager and will be offering its Abundance Innovative Finance ISA from April 6.
Bruce Davis, cofounder and MD of Abundance said: “The Innovative Finance ISA is a refreshing new opportunity for British savers and investors looking for higher returns than cash ISAs but less volatility and risk than equities. The Abundance IFISA will pay investors an effective rate of return of between 6% and 9% depending upon which projects they choose, and through the new ISA status, these twice yearly cash payments will be tax free.”
Davis added that holdings can be traded at any time via the Abundance website, “free of any additional charge.”
Smarsh offers white paper on managing social media risk
Social media archiving company Smarsh has produced a three-part white paper series aimed at helping businesses understand the emerging patterns for social media use within their businesses and managing that from a compliance perspective, including recommendations for using social media while remaining compliant.
James Thompson, regional director, Smarsh said: “The evolution of communication channels coupled with the rapid rise of social media, has altered the archiving and supervision playing field. Firms can feel confident in saying yes to the use of social media communications – they just need to be secure in the knowledge that they can responsibly meet their compliance obligations proactively.”
Smarsh believes personal social media usage is the next ‘consumerisation of IT’ (‘Bring Your Own Persona’ – BYOP) challenge in regulated industries and suggests that archiving can make BYOP safe and compliant for employees with proper management and supervision.
“The challenge for firms is to ensure they have proper oversight policies in place, and an effective means of enforcing them. Without these, organisations risk potential reputation and brand damage or even litigation from third parties,” Thompson added.