Proposals for regulatory and tax changes from the FSA, Treasury and DWP and documents such as CP170 ...
Proposals for regulatory and tax changes from the FSA, Treasury and DWP and documents such as CP170 are opening up big sales opportunities for software and services provider DunstanThomas, according to chairman Christopher Read.
DT sells front and back office software to providers and IFAs, and offers products such as a SIPP calculations engine, used to deal with high net worth clients.
After 10 years in the business, the firm now believes that changes to the way pensions are made and distributed as well as other industry trends are setting it up for a period of sustained higher growth.
Read identifies the pensions Green Paper and CP170 as key issues.
He sees four key ideas put forward by the Green Paper: making people take care of their own pension needs; reaffirming the link between employers and employees on the issue of pensions; simplifying the tax regime in the pensions space; and making people work longer.
"The Green Paper is still the only real guide to the future," he says.
"To service the objectives of the Green Paper, to enable better choices, relies on information[delivery]."
And that in terms of the "IT game" means things such as "heterogeneous data consolidation" in order to provide compound illustrations.
The Green Paper defines the future needs of DT's customers, Read says.
One of the challenges is meeting the government's goal of simplification coupled with increased flexibility.
The problem, Read says, is that simplicity and flexibility contradict each other: flexibility implies more complexity of systems in order to deal with more factors - again, driving demand for solutions that can meet this challenge.
The government wants compound illustrations, but first the industry needs to deal with CP170 and the shift from Key Features to Key Facts Documents.
This development is also linked to sales opportunities, i.e., new illustrations may require new software, or those trying to "badge" products as their own may require software and services solutions being sold by a company such as DT.
Besides the opportunities linked to regulatory issues, Read also sees trends in the industry that continue to drive business.
One such trend is a perceived fall in service levels as numbers of policies administered rises.
Coupled with the 1% world this is forcing IFAs are "rethink" strategies, Read says.
Therefore, some IFAs are looking at "pile-'em-high, sell-'em-cheap", he says, while others are focusing on pension provision "in their own right", looking to provide their own "branded" pension provision in order to retain clients and get better than 1% returns.
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