Regardless whether IFAs are looking to technology, networks, multi-tie or other solutions for business in a depolarised world they should all focus on service levels as the key issue says David Norman, managing director business partnerships Insight Investment.
This includes looking at platforms for the services they provide rather than the technology comparisons that might be made, he adds.
Insight itself is looking to forge increasing numbers of “partnerships” or “alliances” in future, in part to build off the services it can provide by virtue of it being part of the HBOS group of companies, Norman says.
And when it comes to asset management Insight takes the view providing a high level of service does not just mean pointing to figures showing fund returns compared to peers.
”Fund managers are important, like the engine in a BMW,” he says.
”But the engine itself is not enough: BMW’s strength is putting together all the parts to create a whole car that people want.”
Outsoucing will grow as the industry develops, Norman believes, but intermediary firms considering this route to maintaining or improving their own businesses in future should ensure they do not fall into a common trap.
Often when companies outsource they simply shift the same in-house people into an outsourced roll.
If there is a problem with the management of that part of the business in the first place, then maintaining people in essentially the same roles on an outsourced basis may not lead to the improvements hoped for, Norman says.
Speaking of the ISA sales season just passed, Norman says anecdotal evidence from Insight’s sales side is IFAs have had too much time on their hands for meetings, suggesting the rebound was not as great as expected by some.IFAonline
Partner Insight: Continuing the Architas education series for clients.
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