We caught up with our Managing Director, Anthony Villis, on the new technology being developed by First Wealth to revolutionise the client onboarding process.
So, tell us about the new technology being created?
Across the financial planning profession, onboarding new clients is currently a very disjointed process. It is also time consuming as there are multiple steps that must be followed to onboard a new client such as verifying their ID, having them sign a Service Charter, completing a fact find, establishing their expenditure and doing a risk profiler. For years clients have had to go between different platforms to complete these steps which involved several different types of software.
Why did you decide to create this technology?
The goal is to simplify the process and create a better user experience for both the client and the financial planner. We knew this process needed to modernise and improve so we decided to take the matter into our own hands. We started working with Elliott and Charlton Santana to develop a new system to revolutionise the onboarding process using advanced technology. Elliott has previous experience of onboarding clients in a regulated environment and Charlton owns his own business called Febbi, which is an artificial intelligence chatbot for restaurants, designed to automate response to customers commonly asked questions online.
So, together with Elliott and Charlton, we have built an online platform Open Advice that will allow our clients to complete all onboarding tasks in one place. This consolidation of tasks will save clients both time and effort. Now the platform is live and being used in First Wealth, we are refining and improving the user experience, in addition to ironing out the inevitable bugs that occur.
What stage are you at now?
We plan to onboard most new clients via this software. We have built a multi-tenanted SaaS (Software as a Service) business model to accommodate the new software so we can make it available to other financial advisers. By solving this problem for First Wealth, we can help other companies with their process too. We have the first couple of beta testers working with the software and their external feedback will prove invaluable. The testing period will be ongoing for the next 3 to 6 months, after which we will look to make the software available to the wider market.
A new company Digital Advice Technologies who will own the Intellectual Property (IP) and the software will sit outside of First Wealth. First Wealth will become the first client of the new business! We plan is to further develop the technology into financial well-being app which will provide users with financial wellbeing tools and advice. We will also link to an investment platform, allowing users to automate investment account opening and investment.
The app sounds interesting, how would it work?
We built our own risk profile and money personality profile so that users will see a profile of the kind of investor they are; how composed are they under volatile markets periods, how much experience they have and whether they are longer term or short term investors. The personality profile will allow us to customise messaging to clients who have invested via the platform and give them personalised, targeted tailored information. Those messages will be driven by what is going on in their investment platform, and broader economic conditions; allowing users to have an awareness and make the best investment decisions.
Life Goals, one of the tools in the platform, is like Tinder for financial objectives! It works by displaying different objectives to help clients determine what is important to them and they swipe left or right depending on the levels of importance to them. The output allows both the client and the financial planner to see what matters most and start building a financial plan to deliver on those objectives.
What are the next steps?
To speed up the development of the software, we will look to raise capital early in the new year. It’s important that we’re involved in the advancement of technology that will aid the financial planning process; it’s an exciting future. In an article I wrote in 2019 I stated: ‘In order to meet the needs of consumers, we will need to look to technology for inspiration; to take the wealth of knowledge that exists within our profession, digitise it and make it easily accessible so that a greater number of people can engage with financial planning’ and I still believe that to be the way forward today.
You can keep up to date with First Wealth by visiting our website and Anthony’s article on ‘The Future of Financial Planning’ is available to read here: The Future of Our Profession (firstwealth.co.uk)
This document is marketing material for a retail audience and does not constitute advice or recommendations. Past performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.