Innovative Behaviour - How to Ensure Technology Eases Not Increases Your Burdens

Financial Advisory

27 April 2023

Back OfficeDigital SolutionsFinancial AdvisoryInnovationIntegrated systemsMeeting of MindsTechnology

Expert: Darren Lowry - Director Sales and Michael Milner - Head of Product Integration, Nucleus Facilitator: Don Wild


  1. A key challenge facing all financial planning firms is discovering the most efficient way to run their businesses
  2. As central banks reduce demand (by raising interest rates), those companies with more resilient earnings will likely fare better than those with more fragile earnings profiles
  3. The essential question being asked is: Does the technology meet the advisers needs?

Discussion points:

Technology is seen as an essential part of the solution. However, with a myriad of systems available, some key questions arise: Which of the systems are integrated? Are there clear functional perimeters between systems? Are there defined standards for data quality?

Nucleus have invested in helping advisers to more easily access and analyse the data they have on the platform. There is a wealth of ‘rich data’ on the platform in regard to clients’ assets. Extracting this information in a format which can be used by the financial planning firm, directly and through other parts of the ‘tech stack’. This is seen as a key process in providing efficiencies, but also better client outcomes.

Variety in systems used: The group had some strong views on the systems they currently employed. Many had had some poor experiences previously; hence they had landed on systems which suited their particular practice. Back-office systems were seen as the core to the financial planning office, again mixed experiences were shared on which system was preferred.

Integration - or more accurately the lack of - is the major cause of frustration. Many systems are still ‘stand-alone’. Hence re-keying and duplicating is seen as a big values destroyer. The guidance was effectively to do an audit check of current systems to ensure: a) Systems were well enough integrated b) The full capabilities of systems were being utilised.

Key takeaways:

Going forward, platforms like Nucleus are looking to support financial planning firms by a) differentiating themselves in assisting the FP firm run their business through intelligent data analysis. Secondly to ensure high service standards, which were seen as ‘variable’ across the market.

Overall, the group welcomed initiatives in this direction, but referred to the fact that integration with back-office systems were essential. Independent financial planning firms have to take an ‘holistic view ‘of the client.