Q: How does Dynamic Planner help you solve your key challenge?

Andy Thompson, CEO at Finli Group, had decades of experience in the industry and he had a vision of bringing great financial advice to clients, and doing a better job in terms of client outcomes than the market arguably had previously been able to deliver.

At Finli, we believe the UK wealth management industry is broken. A lot of that comes back to the fact, arguably, that productivity has been flat for a generation. The same things have been done, in the same way. Regulation has become even stifling, so firms are doing things more with the regulator rather than the client in mind. How do you break out of that?

Andy Thompson studied the USA and its industry model, and they successfully leverage technology in a way which opens the industry up, enabling an adviser to see and help more clients. But it’s technology which opens the door to the opportunity. In the UK, technology traditionally has been fragmented and legacy in nature. You can find a solution which works well for say 20% of your problem, but not for the remaining 80%.

At Finli, we looked at bringing together a small number of pieces of integrated technology to underpin our business; creating the efficiency and scalability we wanted; and ultimately enable us to provide a great client experience and service, at the right price.

At Finli, we have three North Stars. One is deeply engaging and educating clients. We believe that if you are able to take a client and really embed them in their financial plan, you’re going to get a much better outcome, for them and for you as a business.

We looked at technology available in the market and we saw Dynamic Planner, which looks great and has great industry feedback. It has open architecture, which allows us to plug it into to our other tools and it delivers a great experience, both for adviser and for their clients. It was what we were looking for.

     Key Dynamic Planner benefits:

  • More efficient operating model, lowering business costs
  • More efficient centralised compliance checks
  • Remove business variability. Enable ability to scale
  • Great client-facing technology clients value
  • Consistent, plain-speaking communication clients value
  • Tailored communication to different client target markets
  • Drive deeper engagement with clients

Q: How does Dynamic Planner help you improve productivity?

First, bringing our client data into one place enables us to leverage Dynamic Planner’s capabilities today and tomorrow, and save a lot more time and effort. We’re creating efficiencies of the future. In line with our plan of scaling the business, we know that when existing clients come through for their next periodical review, it’s nowhere near as much effort to provide that great service to them. We can simply iterate what we have delivered to them previously.

Second, efficiency isn’t simply about doing something more quickly, it’s about doing things better. And without Dynamic Planner, we simply wouldn’t be able to do the things that we can today. Look at some competing technology. It looks archaic and doesn’t inspire confidence in the client. You could never put it in front of them.

Now with Dynamic Planner, the biggest thing we see is the quality of the work produced for a client consistently, and consistency saves you, as a business, having to rework something before it can be shared. Rework is expensive. Our focus is on doing something right first time, which Dynamic Planner enables us to do, because reports pre-populate.

And the downstream, secondary benefit of that is things like quality checking and compliance become more efficient and cheaper. For example, your pre-agreed suitability wording, communicating a recommendation for this solution at this risk profile, is automated, so it doesn’t need to be checked again in detail. Your compliance team know exactly where to look in a report for the client-specific details.

A then further benefit of Dynamic Planner has been that we’ve been able to create specialism in the business. Our operating model is transformed. We’ve created specialist teams, who produce review reports for clients in Dynamic Planner. That’s all they do. Naturally, they become skilled at it, so it only further improves your efficiency and quality of client outcome.

Q: As you acquire other businesses,
how does Dynamic Planner help you engage with clients?

If you want to scale, you have to do things consistently, but not purely for efficiency and cost. One thing Dynamic Planner’s really good at it is making complex things simple and using plain language to communicate. For us at Finli, when we’re acquiring new businesses, where in the past every client suitability report has been individually handcrafted, it can be difficult for a client reading it to understand. What clients love is the consistency and the simplicity of reports which Dynamic Planner produces.

Of course, everyone has a different view of exactly what should be included in a suitability report. But Dynamic Planner enables us at Finli to create a top-level template of a report that we’re happy with, and then to crank those out easily, quickly and consistently. It’s a game-changer. The more we can do that – tailor reports specific to a piece of business which we know we do a lot of – the better.

And we’re not disregarding a client’s individual circumstances. We know we never are. We’re feeding content and information into a framework, which we know meets regulation, and which is tailored and speaks to clients in a tone and way we want to speak to them. That ability in Dynamic Planner is excellent.

Q: How does Dynamic Planner help you engage with different target markets of clients?

If you, as we do, want to deeply engage and educate your clients, you have to put the right content in front of them at the right time.

We tailor the content of reports in line with the target market of clients we’re speaking to. For example, you’re in a completely different place when you’re approaching retirement, than when you’re 20 years into retirement. The type of products and solutions you’re going to be recommended are different. The length of the report you produce, and the detail you include within it, for different target markets is different.

We also segment our clients by their financial sophistication, so we engage with people in different ways dependent upon whether they have a lot of experience of investing, or whether they’re a beginner.

Q: As you acquire other businesses,
how does Dynamic Planner help you scale?

Dynamic Planner helps, because it’s client-facing. You can put it in front of a client with confidence. They will be impressed, and if they’re impressed, their adviser will be.

It enables us, as a scaling business, to change the way our teams work. We can show teams this technology, which is slick, inviting and engaging, and show how much it improves your ability to do your job day-to-day. On top of that, end clients say they love it too. It has a great reputation.

An example. Instead of an adviser having different conversations with clients and not capturing all of the required information. As a business, you can put Dynamic Planner in front of a client, in a process which is consistent, captures all required information accurately and at the end of profiling their attitude to risk, for example, produces a report communicating clearly to a client everything they need to know.

Another example. A paraplanner previously may have seen their value to a business as individually writing out each report for a client. But a paraplanner’s real value to your business is looking at a client’s circumstances and matching them with a suitable solution and outcome. It’s that thinking, not the typing.

To provide them with technology and a system which enables them to review a client’s risk profile, complete research on suitable investment solutions and then press a button to do most of that report writing for them, frees them to do more of the value-adding, creative thinking which paraplanners are really good at.

Q: As a whole, how has Dynamic Planner contributed to the financial planning industry?

I think Dynamic Planner, which has a great reputation, brings real professionalism to the industry. It meets its commitments to a business the size of Finli, and that’s a big deal when we’re planning for our future; trying to scale quickly; and we’re trying to get somewhere. We can rely on Dynamic Planner.

Q: Would you recommend Dynamic Planner to a business similar to Finli Group?

Yes, for two reasons. One, it’s a great client-facing tool, which enables you to demonstrate value to clients over and above what you would otherwise be able to. You can deeply engage the client with their own story and show them a depth of data and information you simply otherwise couldn’t. That’s a big tick for us at Finli: you can put Dynamic Planner in front of a client, and it just works.

Two, Dynamic Planner unlocks that efficiency and that consistency, that any business needs today to grow and scale effectively. You need to be able to see how you’re going to grow, and what it’s going to cost. Removing variabilities is a huge part of that.

Q: How did Dynamic Planner help you solve your key challenge?

Our vision at Solomon was to build a scaled advice and wealth management business, on a national basis, driving a consistency of quality, a consistency of service and a consistency of client outcomes. We really wanted to focus on, through the use of technology, greater client education and greater client engagement – compared to a traditional IFA scenario, where that previously may have been sporadic and dependent on who your IFA was.

What was our challenge, achieving that? First, that vision we had isn’t how advisers have traditionally evolved in our industry. They have been used to doing things their way, to a large degree. They perhaps have not been particularly tech-savvy. And they have been wedded to what technology they have used.

There has been no suitable technology solution in a box for advisers and for their clients. There was really no CRM available which could communicate with clients and articulate what as an adviser you were trying to achieve, in an appealing way. What Dynamic Planner provided us with was a best-of-breed solution, to solve that need that we had.

     Key Dynamic Planner benefits:

  • Adoption of best-of-breed financial planning technology
  • Accelerated onboarding, expedited by improved UX and outputs
  • More efficient operating model, lowering business costs
  • Consistent communication clients grow to value
  • Drive deeper engagement with clients

Q: How does Dynamic Planner enable you to scale as a business?

Moving to new technology is painful. Therefore, you have to be able to show people the advantages of doing so. Dynamic Planner ticks two boxes here: it’s intuitive to use; and the outputs are better than what the adviser has generated for a client previously.

The most important aspect of scaling a business, once you’ve reached a certain size, is being able to serve more clients, with fewer financial advisers. You don’t, as a business, want to keep simply growing your number of advisers, for lots of reasons. What you actually want is advisers who can serve more clients.

What Dynamic Planner does is make things easier, quicker and simpler. The production of a periodical review report for a client, for example. Previously, that perhaps would have relied upon work from a paraplanner, but now an administrator could do that. That tangibly can lower your unit cost of providing advice. It opens up the ability for you, as a business, to have a differentiated operating model.

Q: How has Dynamic Planner contributed to the financial planning industry, as a whole?

Dynamic Planner has led the way on communication with clients, in a way which is engaging and human. Bearing in mind, the financial services industry has spent the last 20 years going in the opposite direction, adding more and more compliance clauses, and more and more terms and conditions. Moving away from that is massively welcome, enabling real people to engage with financial advice, and also to trust financial advice.

Q: Would you recommend Dynamic Planner to a business similar to Solomon?

Yes, I would.