Welcome to the latest Altus newsletter. Itâ€™s hard to believe that weâ€™ve just completed our 10th trading year and Iâ€™m pleased to say that weâ€™ve had another very good year, culminating in the appointment of Hugo Thorman as our new Chairman. Iâ€™d like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers, partners and, of course, our talented people for your continued commitment and support.
On the software front, Altus Business Systems released a major new version of the Altus Transfer Gateway (ATG version 2.7) earlier this month. This release is a major investment for us and represents a big step forward in terms of functionality, capability and support for the very latest version of the transfer standards. The adoption of automated electronic transfers continues to make steady progress (see Howardâ€™s latest market update below) encouraged by the release of agreed common standards from TeX. We will continue to support open and interoperable standards, a philosophy that we are now bringing to the Pension Dashboard debate. Benâ€™s blog below provides a useful guide on the subject. Finally, new releases of our funds trading solutions, due in the New Year, are proving a team distraction from Christmas shopping!
Our consultants have been busy too. During an interview at this yearâ€™s Platforum Conference on the evolution of D2C platforms, Altusâ€™ Adam Jones predicted weâ€™d see an increase in simplicity, ease of use and a new approach to client education â€“ the full interview is about half way down. The tail end of November saw the 2015 Spending Review and Autumn Statement. A relatively quiet affair, by Georgeâ€™s usual standards, saw key changes to auto enrolment, stamp duty and social housing, a turn around on working tax credits and subscription limits left unchanged. Altusâ€™ Jon Deanâ€™s briefing paper outlines the highlights and the impact on financial services businesses.
Finally, on behalf of all of us here at Altus, Iâ€™d like to wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy and successful 2016.
Pictured: Members of staff of Altus Business Systems and Consulting celebrating Altus 10th anniversary
Interview: Altus 10 years in Business, David Jackson, Managing Director
In this brief interview, Managing Director, David Jackson reflects on 10 years in business, the changes he has seen in the Financial Services industry and what he believes the future holds for both the industry and Altus.
Pictured: from left to right; Steve Gazzard, CEO, Institute of Financial Planning, Standard Life. Howard Finnegan, Sales and Marketing Director, Altus. David Tiller, Head of Platforms, Standard Life. Kate Silverton, Radio and TV Presenter.
The Aberdeen UK Platform Awards 2015
Sales and Marketing Director, Howard Finnegan was honoured to present the 'Best Large Platform Provider' award to Standard Life as voted for by the adviser community. The awards were held on the evening of the 22nd of September 2015 at the London Hilton on Park Square and hosted by Kate Silverton. Read more about the winners...
New Release - v2.7 Altus Transfer Gateway (ATG)
Business Systems Director, Ben Cocks is pleased to announce the release of version 2.7 for the Altus Transfer Gateway product.
ATG 2.7 is the culmination of developments with open interoperable standards along with feedback from a wide range of users representing over 30 organisations, from advisor platforms through to wealth managers and execution only/D2C providers.
2015 Spending Review and Autumn Statement Briefing Paper by Jon Dean, Senior Consultant
"Usually these days, a Budget or Autumn Statement would be interesting for what it tells us the Government plans to do. This time, the Spending Review and Autumn Statement is more interesting for what is not happening. These include:
A complete climb-down on cuts to the Working Tax Credits regime.
No change to ISA and JISA subscription limits.
Deferring the mandated escalation of minimum contribution rates in company auto-enrolment pension schemes.
Other big changes widely predicted by the press, and previously flagged by HMT itself, included the end of salary sacrifice and measures to tackle abuse of â€˜deeds of variationâ€™. Both remain under review by the Treasury and look likely to be the subject of further speculation before next yearâ€™s Budget.
With all the uncertainty surrounding pension regulations itâ€™s unlikely that many providers will want to commit to supporting a Pension Dashboard until the government gives a clearer direction on its intentions.
Providers are understandably nervous that another change of heart from the government could leave the Pension Dashboard high and dry alongside Pot-Follows-Member.Nevertheless, regulators, providers and technology companies have already started sketching out how a Pension Dashboard might be delivered.
If all parties are willing to play their part in an open and collaborative debate then just maybe we can get it off the ground this time.Read more...
Read more In the Press! from Altus Business Systems and Consulting
Latest Blog: We bought a configurable system, why is it taking so long? By Principal Consultant, Bruce Davidson
Bruce's blog post talks about how highly-configurable systems appear to cause numerous change programmes in financial services to have poor project success rates. The blog highlights how, surprisingly, businesses are still failing to appreciate the importance of having a solid architectural understanding of all the configurations available to them and a software-and-configuration development process that will maximises their project productivity if they are to enter into new markets and compete effectively. Great blog post! Read more...
The Investment Network
14th-15th January 2016, Nutfield Priory Hotel and Spa, Redhill, Surrey
Kevin Okell, Consulting Director
ATG User Group
3rd February 2016, SWIFT, Corn Exchange, 55 Mark Lane, London, EC3R 7NE
Howard Finnegan, Sales and Marketing Director, Nick Meredith, Chief Architect. Liz Sharp, Marketing Manager. Ben Cocks, Business Systems Director
Rise of the Machines: Where next for Robo Advice? 25th February 2015, London (invitation-only event) Kevin Okell, Consulting Director. Simon Bussy, Principal Consultant.