O&M Systems adds new functionality to aid pension-switch suitability reporting
New executive summary automatically provides key advice in bullet point format for use in suitability reports
O&M Systems has added an executive summary facility to its pension switching software, making it easy for financial planners and paraplanners to extract the key points of the advice and present them in a client-friendly way in suitability reports, says the company’s managing director Graham Miller.
Miller says this chimes with the message coming from the regulator following its review of adviser firms’ suitability reports this summer, which highlights the use of an executive summary as an example of best practice.
Speaking about the review at a recent conference, FCA technical specialist Rory Percival stressed that the objective of the suitability report is to get the client to read and understand the advice, “so they can make an informed decision about what you are recommending to them.” An executive summary aided that process, he added, because “clients might not read the whole suitability report but they will read the first page.”
Miller says the added functionality takes the key pension switching indicators and automatically turns them into bullet points, which can be used in an executive summary at the front of the suitability report.
“The FCA has made it clear that it wants suitability reports to be shorter and clearer, so the client is able to read and understand what is being advised,” he says.
“Any large document has an executive summary, outlining the key points contained within it, making it easier for anyone reading the document to take away the main messages. An executive summary is the go-to place before tackling the bulk of the document itself.
“It made sense to us, therefore, that alongside key indicators like past performance, asset allocation, and other key switch indicators, that we add in an executive summary which the adviser or paraplanner can literally, copy and paste into a suitability report.
“The system will capture the details, which are specific to the quote and personal to that individual, which is what the regulator wants to see.”
The executive summary appears in an additional information box beneath the main product comparison table (see below). As the adviser or paraplanner selects different products to compare, the software will re-write the individual panels beneath the main screen, providing additional information relevant to that particular product. The adviser can select which and how many additional information boxes are displayed.
In addition, the software pulls in the adviser charges and any additional growth needed for the new pension to match projected performance over set periods and at different risk levels, providing a greater degree of transparency in the calculations.
Miller says the executive summary function has been added first to the pension-switching software, but will be rolled out to other product areas, like drawdown and annuity, in the near future.
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Executive summary bullet point information
Main product comparison table with 3 additional information panels
Examples of additional 4 information panels