It’s time for change: The outdated tech powering the UK advice market

The financial advice industry in the UK relies on expensive, archaic, and fragmented technology, with firms often paying for five or more pieces of core technology in order to deliver comprehensive advice to their clients. These tools rarely talk to each other, since most were built on old, buggy codebases that lack the functional APIs of the digital age.

With different systems widely used for the various stages of advice, including, factfind, risk profiling, cashflow, decumulation modelling, client portal and back office systems, it’s estimated that the cost of the advice tech stack can be in the region on £10k to £15k per adviser per year.

Abraham Okusanya and the team at Timeline are on a mission to drive positive change: “We’ve learned one major lesson over the past two years - advisers LOATHE having to pay for five different pieces of technology to support their business, especially when the lack of true integration means they must re-key data across multiple systems.

“Plus, firms often find it difficult to understand, interpret and present the results of these multiple systems in a way that is joined-up and coherent for the client. Add to this the regulatory burden to ‘evidence’ ongoing suitability – and it’s just not fit for purpose. The more systems they need to use to prove that their advice is suitable, the bigger the headache for the adviser, practice owners and the compliance team.”

Timeline is putting its money where its mouth is and has already taken big strides towards replacing at least 3 other tools that an adviser currently uses. With plans to evolve further to support the full advice process.

in 2020 Timeline extended its data-driven, probability-based modelling beyond decumulation – to support the accumulation phase and other goals and milestones. It also launched a Capacity for Loss feature which was well received by users.

In the first quarter of 2021 Timeline is rolling out risk profiling which will quickly evolve to include automated asset allocation mapping. This mapping means that Timeline will automatically assign a risk score to a portfolio created by the adviser based on the underlying assets. Further developments in 2021 will enable risk profile data to be sent to IO, XPlan and many other back office systems.

Timeline is also launching a mobile responsive Digital Factfind which, in a future phase of development, will include Open Banking capabilities and automatically create a Draft Plan for the adviser to optimise and share with clients. The factfind questionnaire has been designed to be fast and simple for the client to complete alone or with their adviser. All steps are optional, so clients can skip past anything they are not sure of and discuss it with their adviser when they next meet.

Abraham is the Founder and CEO of Timelineapp. He has authored the Beyond the 4% rule book, written several industry papers and delivered many talks. He holds a master’s degree from Coventry University and an alphabet soup of designations, including the Investment Management Certificate, Chartered Financial Planner and Chartered Wealth Manager.

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