Case study:

Quilter Financial Planning

There isn’t a better example than Dynamic Planner of ongoing support and service, in terms of this is how you think of things from the client’s perspective; this is how you package it; and this is how you demonstrate value, all in one place.
Paul Young, Head of Business Consultancy
Quilter Financial Planning
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Q: How does Dynamic Planner help you deliver key business goals?

I like to look at what, in the first place, our challenge at Quilter Financial Planning was. And the biggest challenge was ongoing service, which breaks into three different points. First, capacity and the glass ceiling I saw firms hitting. How many clients could we look after? The second is consistency. If you’re delivering an ongoing service, how do you ensure what you’re reporting on, and a portfolio’s ongoing suitability is correct?

Point three and perhaps most importantly, is the quality of output. How do you produce something which clients want to engage with, and which they value? How do you achieve a more engaging, front-end client experience?

If we take a step back, I think, in the past, it may be fair to say that software providers in financial services have been more influenced by advisers than they have been by end clients. Many advisers love, for example, an impressive looking pie chart and performance benchmarks, but actually, in our experience at Quilter, that can be furthest from the truth for the client. Those were the challenges we were trying to solve.

     Key Dynamic Planner benefits:

  • MiFID and Consumer Duty-friendly financial planning technology
  • Enable advisers to productively serve up to 450 clients a year
  • More than half the time to produce a client review report, to 17 minutes
  • Add value and engage with clients earlier in financial planning process
  • Half typical time to demonstrate value in client meeting, from 90 to 45 minutes
  • Consistent, structured communication clients quickly value
  • More engaging, values-based client review narrative
  • More efficient, robust process of sourcing client valuations from providers

Q: How does Dynamic Planner help you deliver efficiencies at scale?

When we looked at this, we looked at a lot of stats from the FCA and we initially set a target of each Quilter Financial Planning adviser serving 209 households each year. And historically, we know that some firms would count that they have ‘X’ number of clients, but, on an ongoing basis, how many of them are they actually engaged with?

Today, we would say serving 209 households each year for an adviser is not bad, but that target was set two, three, four years ago. The paradigm has changed. What we’re now talking about is one adviser serving between 400 to 450 clients a year – we’ve gone on record with that – which can shock some, who say it can never be achieved.

But we are seeing people approach that number. And this is ‘year one’ with Dynamic Planner, where there is an element of what we could call ‘backward efficiency’. But that still represents a significant step forward compared to where firms were – in terms of the time they were investing to source valuations from providers for a client; the time they were taking to create a report; and in the end quality of the report.

Even if everything was set up perfectly before, it was taking 40-plus minutes to create a report. Now in Dynamic Planner, it’s less than 20 minutes, the average is 17 minutes. And that’s ‘year one’ remember. The real ‘bingo’ moment for firms who have embraced Dynamic Planner is going to be in ‘year two’. And we’ve already heard how firms are going back to clients for a six-monthly check-in and they’re able to produce a report for them, and demonstrate value very quickly in seconds and minutes.

Previously, were our valuations feeds consistent, reliable and not broken? Consistency is key alongside the simplicity of setting feeds up. In a CRM, it could be nine clicks to go to valuations. In Dynamic Planner, it’s two clicks. And we knew anecdotally, from firms using Dynamic Planner, which points straight at providers, that they had a far more robust and reliable data feed for valuations. That’s the game-changer for Quilter firms.

Q: How does Dynamic Planner help you deliver suitability at scale?

It gives you a story, which says, ‘Based on an agreed level of risk, this is the direction of travel on your journey. This is where you sit on an ‘efficient frontier’ of investment risk and return. And this is how overall your portfolio is performing’. That’s a far easier, values-based narrative to open a review with a client, compared to simply focusing on price or performance.

In the past, a business like Quilter might have had to rely upon advisers being good at driving that values-based narrative. Now they have a framework and a report produced by Dynamic Planner that they can trust and follow.

‘Consumer understanding’

The feedback we’ve anecdotally been hearing from the clients of advisers has all been positive, and I think that’s because we were fortunate enough, in its infancy pre-Covid, to feedback on the structure of the review report you can produce in Dynamic Planner. It was great to have the opportunity to do that.

Up front, a client wants to know, ‘I gave you ‘£X’. How is my portfolio tracking? And in simple terms, am I alright?’ And then the report can provide appendix-type content, enabling the client to funnel down into the detail as and where they want.

So, start with the high-level stuff. Start with the progress. Then provide reassurance as to why. Dynamic Planner does that. And if you don’t want to include every appendix for a client in a report, you can toggle those sections ‘off’; leave other sections as ‘default; we’ve had lots of positive feedback on that ability. But it’s that anchored order of content that’s all important for the client and for their value perception.

It’s been key to be able to work with a behavioural economics lens, through specialists at our end like Mark Pittaccio, who can work with Louis Williams, who heads behavioural insights at Dynamic Planner. For example, understanding what people remember and value from reading a graph and different styles of analysis.

Q: How does Dynamic Planner help you meet the Consumer Duty today?

Not only does Dynamic Planner hit MiFID, it hits Consumer Duty too. There is added implicit value in terms of peace of mind that Dynamic Planner is enabling you to address the Consumer Duty and that you have demonstrable evidence of that. Dynamic Planner has the products and services outcome covered; the price and value outcome; consumer understanding is addressed; and then there’s consumer support, which for me is your ongoing service provision.

Consumer understanding is key today and what Dynamic Planner enables you to do is to have an end-to-end approach through the creation of different target markets of clients. And there isn’t a better example than Dynamic Planner of ongoing support and service, in terms of this is how you think of things from the client’s perspective; this is how you package it; and this is how you demonstrate value, all in one place. Dynamic Planner hits all four Consumer Duty outcomes in one box.

‘Leading the way’

In terms of digital onboarding, you could say Dynamic Planner isn’t unique today in the market. However, when you consider its direction of travel – true client engagement, and embracing issues like ESG and client vulnerability, and having the ability to create that ‘wow’ up front engagement-wise – that is where Dynamic Planner is really leading the way.

For example, rather than simply asking a client point blank, ‘Are you vulnerable?’ Dynamic Planner enables you to engage with a client in a way which helps them to understand the underlying behaviour here.

Q: How does Dynamic Planner help you have control and oversight of your financial planning process?

The biggest challenge to delivering ongoing service is the time it takes to create the report, and the time it takes to get the client to engage with it and understand the value. Dynamic Planner addresses those things.

You can then, for maximum impact – because one week is too early, and one day before is too late – send the report to the client two / three days before a meeting. Even if you’re the busiest person in the world and you only glance at it on your phone, you’re already in that value chain and already engaged, compared to walking into a meeting cold. In a meeting, as an adviser, you can then get across your value to a client in 45 minutes, whereas previously it may have been an hour and a half.

Q: Has Dynamic Planner contributed to the financial planning industry as a whole?

At Dynamic Planner Conferences, heavyweight people like the FCA support them, which are all big endorsements. Behavioural science too has been a big thing here at Quilter Financial Planning. Is Dynamic Planner on that? Yes. Consumer Duty and target markets are big things. Is Dynamic Planner on that? Yes. Those cost and value perspectives today are key. Is Dynamic Planner on that? Yes. Is ultimately Dynamic Planner at the vanguard of it all? Yes.

The world of financial services would be a poorer place if Dynamic Planner hadn’t done these things. And, for me, Dynamic Planner comes at this from a risk and asset management perspective, to understand the underlying metrics, which gives it credibility. Dynamic Planner today brings those metrics to life for advisers and for their clients.

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

Yes, I would. It’s a 10/10.