Globalisation is an emerging theme in the Australian advice and wealth management space, according to a new report reviewing the developments in technology used by financial advisers to deliver advice.
Research firm Investment Trends’ 2020 Advice Technology Benchmark Report also highlights that Best Interest Duty requirements have encouraged a more digitised and client-focused planning process; and that ASIC’s expectations that the ‘client voice’ be explicitly present in advice documents has triggered significant investment in development in the technology used by financial advisers.
A statement from the research firm says that the report provides a detailed benchmark ranking of Australia’s advice tech providers across four main areas:
- Strategic advice
- Financial advice
- Advice on platform
- Advice with product
It says the research is covering the features/functionality used to support the advice delivery process, spanning 32 sub-categories across 740 criteria.
Investment Trends states that this year’s report finds many of the leading Australian advice software and back-office applications are now owned by companies operating across international borders.
“The acquisition of AdviserLogic, Midwinter and Coin – the second, third and fourth most widely used planning applications, respectively – has brought a global perspective to the Australian market for planning application development,” says Ian Webster, analyst at Investment Trends.
“Local advice tech developers are focused on lifting practice efficiency and anticipating future changes to advice delivery models, but over the horizon, there is emerging competition from integrated applications like Salesforce-based Wealth Connect and Intelliflo Intelligent Office from the UK, a trend that is set to grow.”
He adds that now, more than ever, advice firms have access to an array of globally available, low-cost digital services to manage their client relationships and augment their advice production applications.
The company notes that Australian advice regulation enforces this global shift in approaches to financial advice services – placing the needs and objectives of the client at the centre of attention.
… ASIC is becoming more involved in providing explicit regulatory guidance on [its] expectations for meeting Best Interest and FASEA requirements…
“ASIC is becoming more involved in providing explicit regulatory guidance on [its] expectations for meeting Best Interest and FASEA requirements. This has increasingly turned advisers away from a product selection/replacement mindset towards a more client-centric view, centred around client discovery, strategic goal-based advice and cashflow modelling,” says Webster.
He adds that the regulator’s expectations that the ‘client voice’ be explicitly present in advice documents has prompted advice tech providers to invest significantly in developing the client discovery process.
“Notable improvements to the client discovery process range from dynamic and modular fact-find applications, to support for a discovery process that produces a strategy and scope paper that encapsulates the service that will be provided to the client,” he says.
Awards for Excellence
The company says that in the first edition of the Advice Tech Benchmark Report, it has assigned Awards for Excellence to commend providers that stood out.
It says Iress emerged as the best planning application overall, with its comprehensive functionality, compliance technology and ability to support for advice firms of all sizes. The “outstanding advice tech providers” across six key categories are: