Financial Advisory

Financial Advisory


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Expert: Kevin Russell, SEI Wealth Platform

Facilitator: Malcolm Kerr, EY 

Kevin presented a slide that clearly identified the building blocks that can create a digital winner together with the delivery strategy options which we summarised as: Internal, acquisition, partner or outsource. This proved helpful when delegates described their own business models.


It was clear that “digital” was a word used to describe a range of IT solutions. In both sessions, there seemed to be agreement that it could describe anything from basic practice management tools to business models that excluded paper and/or people and we proceeded on this basis.

Headline Findings

  • Some firms are at the start of the digital journey and remain a little sceptical regarding the necessity to use more technology to engage with clients. But they appreciated the extent to which technology could reduce costs and mitigate risk.
  • Other firms have, or are starting to, invest significantly in order to:
    • Reduce costs
    • Mitigate risk
    • Improve the client experience
    • Increase productivity
  • Almost all firms sensed that when it came to selling their business, being up to speed with digital would be an important factor in terms of price. True Potential and Best Practice were seen as examples of this.
  • Several delegates felt that developing a digital model could be helpful in terms of building relationships with the children and maybe grandchildren of existing clients.
  • It was agreed that there would be more losers than winners in the “Robo” space. This was defined as a business model which provided online advice or guidance with very limited or no human intervention”. It was felt that ‘Robo” would be challenged by the cost of customer acquisition and the complexity of dealing with the 55 to 75 years-old segment which is where most of the money resides. “People at the front” works best
  • Data security is a critical issue.

Potentially important outputs:

  • Delegates at both sessions that had integrated the various components of a digital business model indicated that it can be very challenging. It would be good if the suppliers could co-ordinate more effectively. Mission for MoM?
  • Providers are even worse and insist on “wet signatures” even though there is no regulatory requirement. This is holding up progress. One delegate stated that they do not deal with providers or clients who want to use paper. They don’t even have a printer in their office. Mission for MoM?