Business news update
Selected business and technology news in the advisory market
Capital Asset Management boosts security for clients
Chartered Financial Planning firm, Capital Asset Management, has launched a new system, FileSafe™, to enhance its security measures and protect its clients from the growing threat of cyber-crime.
The system is a secure cloud based storage, and file sharing platform, which enables the firm to share confidential documents and communicate with its clients and third party professionals in a highly secure environment.
At the same time, Capital says it has responded to a growing client desire to organise and simplify the paperwork they hold, including their wills, passports, legal documents and investment statements and provide secure access from any location with an internet connection. This can include a home visit to scan, organise and file securely a client’s paperwork.
Alan Smith, Capital’s CEO said: “Our objectives on launching FileSafe™ were two-fold. Firstly, to ensure that sensitive personal and financial information is kept as securely as possible, particularly when being transferred to and from ourselves and our clients. At the same time, we want to help our clients get fully organised and to declutter their paperwork and personal financial documents.
“FileSafe™ ensures that we can achieve both objectives in simple, elegant and easy to access format and has been warmly welcomed by our clients and their other professional advisers.”
Visit the Capital Asset Management website
Aegon launches online advisory panel to listen to intermediaries’ views
Aegon has launched an online panel with the aim to better understand the challenges intermediaries currently face and to help guide the business on its approach to combining the Aegon and Cofunds platforms.
All intermediaries who currently work with Aegon and Cofunds will receive an invitation to join the panel.
Aegon is hoping to recruit a broad spectrum of intermediaries from across the UK in order to put their views at the very heart of its proposition, and so it can also promote them during discussions with government and the regulator.
The online panel is designed to complement the existing Advisory Board.
Mark Till, chief distribution and marketing officer at Aegon said: “We’ve spoken to many intermediaries in the weeks since the Cofunds deal completed and all the feedback on the future of the platform industry has been extremely valuable. By closely involving them in helping to shape our plans, we will co-create a platform business that they feel they’ve invested in, and ultimately one that benefits their business and their clients.
“The online panel, in conjunction with our Advisory Board will be an important part of this process and in addition to gathering intermediaries’ views on platform and proposition, we’ll ensure that views on the issues affecting advisory businesses are heard in our conversations with government and the regulator.”
Defaqto service ratings 2017 show product providers are improving
Defaqto’s research among 15,000 financial advisers about their views on the service they receive from over 200 providers covering DFMs, platforms, pension and bond providers, and protection insurers, shows a marked improvement in service year on year.
Under Defaqto’s service ratings service, product providers are rated Bronze, Silver or Gold based on their overall rating score. In 2017 the total number of service ratings awarded was 66, made up of 27 Gold, 27 Silver and 12 Bronze. The company said that while this represents a small improvement (13%) for Gold and Silver awards in 2017 versus 2016, there was “a marked shift from Bronze to Silver of 38%, indicating that service is improving across the industry”.
More on the Service Ratings
Mattioli Woods buys SME specialist fund manager
WEALTH management specialist Mattioli Woods has acquired a 49% stake fund management firm Amati Global Investors Limited, equating to a £3.33 million deal.
In addition, the company has secured the option to buy the remaining 51 per cent share-holding in Amati over the next two years.
Edinburgh-based Amati was founded in 2010 and focuses on small and mid-sized companies. It currently manages over £120m of funds.
Ian Mattioli MBE, chief executive officer of Mattioli Woods, said: “Our investment in Amati represents an exciting extension to our existing asset management business and is another important step forward as we continue to expand our operations.
“The team’s performance has been recognised in a number of awards and ratings. I believe this investment will significantly enhance the group’s fund management capabilities.”
On the same day Mattioli Woods announced its interim results for the six months ended November 30, 2016, which showed revenues up more than 22 per cent at £24.3 million and total client assets of £7.56 billion.
Fletchers Solicitors and Frankel Topping launch new advice service
Medical negligence and serious injury law firm Fletchers Solicitors has partnered with Frenkel Topping to offer a financial advice service to its personal injury and clinical negligence clients.
Fletchers Financial Investment Services (FFIS) will offer specialist financial advice and protection on the investment of claim settlements, as well as full guidance on receiving welfare benefits and setting up personal injury trusts. It will also provide clients with advice on how to effectively budget or invest their compensation to ensure future expenditure will be covered throughout their lifetime.
Visit the Fletchers Solicitors website
AKFP Group achieves quality standard certification
Financial Life Planners, AKFP Group, has achieved the BS 8577 quality standard, while, director, Roger Kennedy and Financial Planner, Michael Kirkwood, have received the IS0 22222 qualification.
The BS 8577 standard was developed by the British Standards Institute in conjunction with certification body, Standards International and industry experts. The professional standard for financial advisers focuses on core business practice areas such as operational management, management responsibility, recruitment, training, development and ongoing competence.
Kennedy (pictured) said, “We’ve always set great store by the service we provide to our clients so felt it was important to have our approach and internal processes benchmarked against the British Standard of best practice by entering into their rigorous process of assessment.
“We’re therefore delighted to have achieved this independent ranking, setting us right at the pinnacle of our profession. To be told we were one of just a few businesses to achieve the BS 8577 standard is really satisfying and justifies the work everyone at AKFP has put in to become a truly exceptional, customer-focused business.”
Visit the AKFP Group website
Wealthflow becomes CISI Accredited
Edinburgh-based Wealthflow LLP has become a CISI Accredited Financial Planning FirmsTM. The CISI said there are only 74 Accredited firms in the country.
For a firm to become an Accredited firm it must:
• evidence that it meets strict criteria in relation to the delivery of financial planning
• place clients at the heart of its business proposition and ensure they receive consistently excellent service
• re-confirm it meets the standards on an annual basis to retain its Accredited Financial Planning FirmTM
In addition, at least 50% of the firm’s FCA registered advisers must be qualified as a Certified Financial PlannerTM (CFPTM) professional or Chartered Financial Planner. At least one director/partner of the firm must be a current CFPTM professional.
If a financial planning firm wishes to apply to become a CISI Accredited Financial Planning FirmTM they should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the Wealthflow LLP website
Equilibrium receives client experience award
Equilibrium Asset Management has been awarded the Mark of Excellence for Client Experience by the independent assessment organisation CX Awards Limited.
The award is based on an in-depth assessment of a firm’s client experience focussing on the areas of experience, satisfaction and trust, using a series of online questionnaires covering the perception of clients and staff.
The response rate from Equilibrium’s clients was 42 per cent, which is double the average for client experience surveys which means the results can be taken as fully representative.
Neil Craig, director, CX Awards commented: “In my experience of running assessment surveys for more than 10 years, these results are unprecedented and place Equilibrium at the very top of the client experience tree.
“Equilibrium recorded exceptional scores across the board, reflecting the fact that clients find them a pleasure to deal with, appreciate the support they get and invariably are very keen to keep using them.”
Visit the Equilibrium Asset Management website