The summer may not have been a scorcher but the amount of change in the savings and investment world continues to generate enough heat! Addressing the advice gap through technology has possibly been one of the hottest topics, with a number of recent acquisitions of â€˜Robo-Adviceâ€™ providers. My Consulting colleagues believe there are more to come and that automation of advice or guidance has a long way to go - new entrants with a â€˜big dataâ€™ background might be the real winners in this space.
Six months into the brave new world of pension â€˜Freedoms and Choiceâ€™ and weâ€™re beginning to see some of the pressure points emerge - pension transfers is certainly one. From the restrictions and inefficiencies in the transfer process to insistent clients, there are many things to fix in this space. I'm pleased to say there has been some real progress including the new open standards to support Pot-Follows-Member and the cross industry transfer declaration wording from TISA that everyone can use for free.
Finally, if the number of consultations and reviews under way by regulators and government departments are anything to go by, the pace of change is unlikely to relent. Altus is at the forefront of our industry's challenges and are here to help.
Business Systems Director, Ben Cocks' article in Money Marketing triggered a healthy debate on twitter between former Pensions Minister, Steve Webb and Tom McPhail, Head of Pensions Research, Hargreaves Lansdown - see the the debate online
Altus Consultant, Chris McCullam along with a debate panel recently discussed how to ensure you select the right technology for today and for the future. Topics covered include: different types of back office systems available, cash-flow modelling tools, client portals, regulators requirements for back-office systems.
The Digital Experience - General Insurance Industry
With the ever increasing uptake of mobile technology Altusâ€™ consultants were interested in understanding to what extent the leading General Insurance (GI) providers had embraced this change in technology.
Altus identified 13 of the leading personal lines home & motor GI providers with 90% market share and conducted a user experience exercise of their website.
This research determined how viable it was for a customer to complete key transactions via mobile and web digital channels.
"Here are two industry initiatives that at first glance seem unrelated" Says Ben Cocks, Altus Business Systems Director.
The first is TISAâ€™s project to create an industry wide financial services digital passport based on the good work from OIX and UK.GOV Verify.
This will allow consumers to use one copy of their personal details held with a chosen Identity Provider to sign up for many financial services providers without going through all the current KYC and AML shenanigans.
This is a great idea and Altus are working at the heart of it. Read more...
Altus Consulting hosts At Retirement event
In June Altus hosted its â€˜At Retirement: Solutions not Problemsâ€™ event in London. This was attended by over a hundred people and proved to be an excellent day provoking some lively debate and discussion.
Speakers included Michelle Cracknell from The Pensions Advisory Service, Adrian Boulding from TISA and Sarah Walton from the Cabinet Office, and was chaired by Hugo Thorman, former managing director of Ascentric. As the title suggested, the event focused on solutions rather than a repeat of the issues, examining the industryâ€™s tactical responses to pensions freedoms since April 2014, before painting a picture of retirement in 2020 and showcasing some genuine innovators in the market and their solutions.
Feedback included: â€œYour no nonsense style is both refreshing and educationalâ€, â€œThought provoking, relevant and demonstrated how many opportunities we haveâ€ and â€The best I've attended for many yearsâ€ (really!).
Most of the presentations from the day are available for download, alternatively please feel free to contact Martyn Evans, Insurance Domain Director, who would be happy to talk you through some of the content.
See what delegates had to say on the day at #AltusiiR 'Altus Innovation In Retirement'
Progress on Pot Follows Member Pension Transfers
Since DWP announced the adoption of UKFMPG open standards to support â€˜Pot-Follows-Memberâ€™ (PFM) pension transfers a number of groups have made great progress with the development of the technical and legal standards to make speedy, efficient and cheap pension transfers a reality.
In July the UKFMPG PFM sub-group published the draft standards to support the â€˜pot matchingâ€™ part of the pension transfer process. In another move TeX published a draft of the Pension Transfer declaration wording. This free to use and open set of legal wording is designed to facilitate the legal aspects of transferring pensions and is a great step forward for opening up the wider pension transfer problem.
In parallel with these developments Altus held the third in a series of workshops looking at the practical implications. Operations experts from across the trust-based and contract pensions industries came together to debate how best to support the policy and learn what other benefits can be derived from efficient transfer processing.
With a proliferation of software companies offering best of breed solutions to propositional challenges, more companies than ever are buying software solutions instead of building their own. Buying software allows firms to build unique and varied propositions which support class-leading customer journeys.
Pictured: ATG user group delegates listen to Nick Meredith, Chief Architect, Altus Business Systems
Altus Transfer Gateway (ATG) User Group July saw the latest ATG user group take place at the SWIFT offices in London with over 50 users and non-users in attendance. The usual morning session covered market and business systems updates along with the ATG product road map with new features and versions being announced.
The ever popular open discussion session was led by a survey of the three best and three worst things users are experiencing in the world of electronic transfers with operational speed and efficiencies, late adopters and cheque payments being the sessions hot topics.
The afternoon introduced a new format with our ATG experts offering a system master class where we demonstrated new product features as well as opening up to the floor for â€˜How toâ€™ type queries.
If you or a colleague would like to attend the next ATG user group please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add you to our invitation list.
The Aberdeen UK Platform Awards 2015
Consulting Director, Kevin Okell and Principal Consultant Simon Bussy have again had the privileged of judging several categories of this highly respected awards, 2014 saw the following winners but who will peak the judges interest this year in the categories Altus are judging this year?
Best use of Platform Technology
2014 winner: Bravura Solutions and Nucleus
Leading integrated planning tool provider
2014 winner - Distribution Technology and IFDL
Leading innovation award
2014 winner - True Potential
Best wealth management platform
new for 2015
Best investment management platform proposition
2014 winner: Seven Investment Management
The awards will be 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 event...
Summer Budget 2015 Briefing Paper by Jon Dean, Senior Consultant
"This budget was widely expected to be about welfare reform. Today was the first big step to implementing the Conservative Party election manifesto, with changes to inheritance tax and pensions tax relief already known in advance.
The bigger surprises were the introduction of a National Living Wage, the restructuring of dividend taxation and the changes to road tax and buy-to-let relief.
On this occasion the financial services industry has been spared the kind of momentous changes we saw in 2014".
Read more opinion about the Summer budget from Jon Dean, Senior Consultant and download your copy of the briefing paper.
Love to Ride Challenge
Altus staff took part in the 'National Cycle Challenge' Love to Ride. The purpose of the challenge is to get people out on their bicycles, whether it is for a 10 mins cycle to the shops or a gruelling cross-country challenge. 3,078 organisations took part and the event saw 15,331 new cyclists take to the roads.
Read more In the Press! from Altus Business Systems and Consulting
Latest Blog: I, robot â€“ can the US robo-advice model disrupt the UK? Part 1 By Principal Consultant, Simon Bussy
Simon's blog post looks at the how companies in the US are full steam ahead with robo-advice and what the UK are doing about it. Read more about Simon's fascinating insights on the possible opportunities available to the UK market Read more...
#fsblogsunday Our analysis shows that more people read our blogs on a Sunday than any other day - Join in by sharing your own blogs and adding #fsblogsunday when you tweet.
Meet-up with us! Altus are attending the following events if you are coming along and would like to arrange a catch-up with one of the team below please contact email@example.com and we will arrange a meeting.
The Pension-Net-Work Meeting
10th September 2015, Audleys Wood Hotel, Hampshire
Will Watling, Principal Consultant. Martyn Evans, Head of Consulting Jon Dean, Senior Consultant
Help for Heroes Xl vs Rest of the World Xl - Twenty20 cricket fundraiser supported by Old Mutual Wealth
17th September 2015, Kia Oval, London Kevin Okell, Consulting Director. Martyn Evans, Head of Consulting. Michael James, Principal Consultant, Mark Andrews, Principal Consultant.
Aberdeen UK Platform Awards 2015 22nd September 2015, London Hilton on Park Lane Kevin Okell, Consulting Director. Simon Bussy, Principal Consultant. Howard Finnegan, Sales and Marketing Director
WMA Funds Conference
23rd September, London
Howard Finnegan, sales and Marketing Director (speaking on the panel)
Platforum 2015: The Retail Investment Conference
1st October 2015, The Business Design Centre, London Kevin Okell, Consulting Director. (Running panel session)
NAPF Annual Conference
14th October 2015, Manchester Central Howard Finnegan, Sales and Marketing Director, Liz Sharp, Marketing Manager. Ben Cocks, Business Systems Director
Altus ViaNova User Group
21st October 2015, Swift offices, London
Howard Finnegan, Sales and Marketing Director, Chris Gill, Product Manager. Liz Sharp, Marketing Manager. Ben Cocks, Business Systems Director
The Investment Network Meeting
22nd October 2015, The Elvetham, Hampshire
Kevin Okell, Consulting Director.