There are 23 advisers at Radcliffe & Co and the size of our assets under management is approximately £1.2bn. We offer clients a very personal and friendly service. We try to simplify things as much as possible, so our clients feel at ease and understand financial decisions being taken.
We first began using Dynamic Planner in December 2019. A lot of our advice until then had been very much DFM-based, but as the world’s changing and costs have become more transparent, we realised as an Investment Committee that we weren’t looking at whole of market for multi asset funds. We kept seeing the name ‘Dynamic Planner’ on factsheets for risk profiling the fund.
We were using another risk questionnaire, but we wanted to introduce more technology into what we do and we realised what we were using didn’t offer us as much as Dynamic Planner. We realised by using Dynamic Planner everything could be aligned, from a risk and an FCA perspective and simply tie everything together, in short.
We were finding previously with DFM’s that they all had a different view as to where they sat on our previous scale. With Dynamic Planner, everything is simpler in that sense – and, like I said, at Radcliffe we’re not trying to be rocket scientists, we just want to make it simple and easy for the client to understand. In January this year, we had a new compliance officer join us and they looked at Dynamic Planner and said, ‘This is perfect’.
Before, we did complete risk questionnaires with clients face-to-face during a meeting, but now perhaps 75% of our advisers email the client ahead of a meeting to complete the questionnaires on their own. That completely changes the conversation and allows you to go to that meeting with a risk profile report and talk it through with the client and ask them, ‘Are you comfortable with that level of risk?’
It brings the whole conversation alive and makes it feel more real for the client, because they can see with their investments at a risk level, ‘Plan for this’, ‘Be prepared for this’ and ‘Be pleasantly surprised by this’. The client can see, ‘Okay, I’ve got £100,000. How is that going to perform at a risk profile 7, or a risk profile 4, say?’ It’s been really good.
Emailing the client the questionnaires first also means they can take their time over it and talk about with their partner, if they want to. As an adviser, also, you can begin to think about potential solutions for them, which will potentially fit their risk profile. It just helps – going into that meeting armed with more information.
We have also changed a lot of our suitability letter to clients to include much more analysis and reporting from Dynamic Planner, around risk profiling the client and their funds. We’re embedding Dynamic Planner into every process we have – so Admin and Paraplanning can get involved and everything is more streamlined for us as a firm.
We have our own Investment Committee, but we don’t run our own funds, we create our fund shortlists and stick to that as much as possible, or certainly justify why we would want to go away from that for a recommendation for a client. Very nearly all the funds on those shortlists are risk profiled in Dynamic Planner.
We have just started to use Dynamic Planner for our annual review process for clients – and we really like it. If you’re working with funds from a platform, it works seamlessly and takes about two seconds to pull the data through. If you’re working off platform and bespoke, obviously that doesn’t pull through, but you can mix and match information and still give the client one document.
You can make it your own for your firm, with images and logos. It’s all very good and just looks a lot more professional than what we were doing previously. The client, at the end of the day, is paying you for a service, so the review report ensures the client leaves you with something good, which covers everything off – objectives, fund performance, charges, everything.
Of course, it immediately makes you MiFID II-compliant and think about PROD without having to reinvent the wheel. You don’t want to simply place all your clients into one bucket, because everyone is different, but what it does do is ensure everyone receives a similar outcome following similar guidelines. That’s the main goal.
Yes, all organisations have people who are less open to change, when you do adopt something new and people question, ‘Why are we doing this?’ But it has been a good onboarding process. I have been able to teach people, who are perhaps less comfortable with technology, how to use something like Dynamic Planner’s iPad app, because it’s so simple to use. Now we’re six months in, Dynamic Planner has become embedded into what we do.
If we’ve ever had an issue, I’ve always emailed or called our Account Manager at Dynamic Planner, who comes back to you pretty quickly – and other people here have simply called the Client Success team at Dynamic Planner, because it’s so helpful to call someone and have them pick up the phone straight away.
I would recommend Dynamic Planner to another firm, because of where the world is going, in terms of technology – and clients want that interaction and access to doing things in their own time. Alongside the output Dynamic Planner gives you and the Client Review process, I would wholeheartedly recommend it.