Lighthouse Group intends to launch a Direct to Consumer simplified advice service in a bid to capture a section of the mass market that is unable or unwilling to pay for financial advice.
The company has or will have the key ingredients necessary for a succesful D2C offering: advanced technology, access to a mass market allowing it to manage a small margin business, and staff that can be deployed to work on the offering.
The service will launch in approximately 12 month's time.
Lighthouse is spending ‘several hundred thousand pounds' on an end to end technology solution for the company.
Lighhouse Group chief executive Malcolm Streatfield described it as a "significant investment" for the company.
This project, called Project Fairway, will be based on an Intelligent Office (IO) system - although the company will create its own bespoke elements.
The system will manage every part of the advice process across both Carrwood (the high-wealth division) and Lighthouse Financial Advice (the national affiliate division which provides financial advice to unions and groups). The third arm, the network division, will be encouraged to use the technology too.
The first phase of the rollout will be completed in time for the company's November conference and will see its preferred risk profiling tool Distribution Technologies - which uses psychometric profiling to assess clients - embedded.
Funds will also be graded by the system in a bid to match clients with appropriate products.
The first phase will also see all Retail Distribution Review (RDR) compliant documentation completed, and at this point advisers will be able to transact business with major providers via the system.
The next phase, to be completed at the end of the first quarter 2013 will embed the payroll systems, and see enhancements to the QSR finance function - this creates an audit trail.
Further out the company will want to embed platforms into the technology. This will allow it to provide a transactional D2C offering.
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