Professional Adviser's resident tech guru Mark Polson reviews Fastrak, the new service from Sprint Enterprise Technology, which could make the job of building client reports far easier...
A bit of research last year from JP Morgan showed that clients would pay on average £351 for a financial plan, or £256 for a pensions-only effort.
With the average time cost of a report at least twice that for many advisers, this is an area ripe for efficiency gains. Our subject this week thinks they have the very thing.
Fastrak from Sprint Enterprise Technology is a new service designed to help advisers build portfolios, maintain and review them, and reflect them in client reports.
Ripe for efficiency gains
Its founder, Gary Shepherd, told me that currently, he finds advisers using three or four different data systems to create reports.
Much of the inefficiency in the process is down to having to switch between systems, cutting and pasting data and formatting it so it doesn’t look like a dog’s breakfast.
Incidentally, for anyone thinking Gary sounds familiar, he was employee number 3 at 1st Software back in 1997 and may have called on many of you over the years.
So, in effect, what Gary and his team have created is a piece of ‘middleware’ that sits in the middle (geddit?) of multiple systems and pulls data in from them, often without any effort on their part.
That’s more important than it sounds – outside finance, a whole new generation of web services is growing up with open interfaces called APIs which allow developers to go fetch data from that system.
If any of you use Twitter and view your stream through Tweetdeck or a similar service, the program is using the Twitter API to go and fetch your messages. Gary’s team of developers come from outside the industry, and, in his words, “don’t know what shouldn’t be possible”.
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