Find out everything Altus has been up to this quarter here.
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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 ‘Robo-Advice’ 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 ‘big data’ background might be the real winners in this space.

Six months into the brave new world of pension ‘Freedoms and Choice’ and we’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.

David Jackson, Managing Director
Press Article Triggers Twitter Debate -  DWP’s Deafening Silence on PFM

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 

Understand more about Pot-Follows-Member
Understand more about Open Pension Transfers

Technology to boost your business - FT adviser

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. 

Watch: Technology to Boost your Business

Will the Life Offices open-up on Pension Transfers?

If consumers are to get good value from their pensions then the pension market desperately needs more effective competition.

So it is encouraging to see some new providers entering the market, particularly in the platform and master trust arenas.

Many of these new entrants have a business plan that relies on persuading their customers to transfer existing pensions from life office pension schemes.

However, the widely recognised problems with pension transfers are thwarting their plans and stifling competition in the market. Read more...

Special Deal - Subscribers of the Altus Newsletter

As members of the WMA, Altus will be attending the WMA Funds Conference on the 23rd September 2015 in London - focussing on improving fund processing and administration.

Howard Finnegan, Sales and Marketing Director has been invited to talk on the panel - 'How to get more out of Funds Automation'.

We'd be pleased if you can join us and would like to offer non-members a discount on the normal price of £399 to just £149 + VAT per delegate.

to take advantage of this offer please email quoting promo code: WMA15-Altus

View full details of the event and the agenda

The Digital Experience - General Insurance Industry

With the ever increasing uptake of mobile technology Altus’ 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.

Read full research results here 

Small Pots and Digital Passports

"Here are two industry initiatives that at first glance seem unrelated" Says Ben Cocks, Altus Business Systems Director.

The first is TISA’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 ‘At Retirement: Solutions not Problems’ 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 industry’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: “Your no nonsense style is both refreshing and educational”, “Thought provoking, relevant and demonstrated how many opportunities we have” and ”The best I've attended for many years” (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.

Follow this link to view presentations from the speakers on the day.

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 ‘Pot-Follows-Member’ (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 ‘pot matching’ 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.

If you’d like to know more about the workshops or the whole PFM initiative please contact:

Business Architecture Training Course

Book two delegates for the September course and get the second place half price!

Next course dates:

29th Sept - 1st Oct, 2015 Book course
17th - 19th May 2016 Book course

Download brochure for more information

Transfers and Re-registrations
Market Update – Q2 2015

During the second quarter of 2015 the use of electronic transfers and re-registrations continued to grow steadily.

There was an increase in the overall volume of transfers completed electronically and an increase in the number of live participants.

The growth in adoption is concentrated among the D2C/Execution only and Wealth Management communities. 

For a complete run-down of the stats for the quarter click here

Digital Ecosystem Management - Video

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.

Watch: Re-Imagining Your Digital Ecosystem

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 ‘How to’ type queries.

If you or a colleague would like to attend the next ATG user group please contact  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.

Find out more and sign-up for 2016

In the Press!

Elusive pensions dashboard could be within our grasp
FT Adviser

Guide to client-facing technology
FT Adviser

SEI calls out platforms not offering 7 day re-registration
FT Adviser

Dramatic increase in electronic transfers between D2C platforms will make high exit fees 'untenable'
Wealth Adviser

Digital transfers increase pressure over platform exit fees
Financial Times

Inexcusable to charge high exit fees: Altus
FT Adviser

Read more In the Press! from Altus Business Systems and Consulting
Latest Blog: I, robot – 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... 

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.
Upcoming Events

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 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. 

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