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Find out everything Altus has been up to this quarter here.
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Message from the MD
 
It seems there are announcements almost every day from the different areas of government on new policy, rules and regulations impacting the Insurance and Investments industry.  I can’t remember a time when the industry has faced so much change in regulation, business models, technology and markets. Change can been an opportunity to innovate, to look at things in a different way, to become more efficient and change the status quo.

At Altus we are involved in a wide range of projects involving innovation, whether it be helping investment platforms ‘re-platform’, the Defined Assured working-group or automating pension transfers. It is exciting times for our clients, indeed the industry as a whole, and helping them grasp the opportunities this presents is what we do best.
 
We completed our financial year at the end of September and our results will be published in due course, but I can say, it has been another record year for Altus. I continue to be impressed and amazed by the wonderfully gifted and talented people that grace us with their commitment every day. Our customer’s satisfaction and our own continued success is in no small part down to them.
 
And finally, our new brand identity has completed its final milestone with the role out of our new website. I hope you’ll find it much easier to identify which part of Altus you’re dealing with, Altus Consulting or Altus Business Systems, have a look and let us know what you think.  
 
Altus Launches New Website!

As you know Altus is a successful IT software products and consulting business providing knowledge and expertise for the last 10 years to many of the leading financial services companies across the UK and mainland Europe.

However, in recent years as the company has grown it has become difficult, under one brand, for stakeholders to easily identify that Altus offers two unique and independent services to the financial services industry. Last year we recognised the urgent need for brand clarification and now you can see the results. 

The new Altus brand reflects a modern, professional and authoritative identity for both parts of the business. It clarifies that we provide two distinct services to our customers but that our combined expertise and knowledge enables us to deliver on a wider range of solutions from either Altus Consulting or Altus Business Systems all under one roof.

The launch of the new Altus website supports the new brand and allows visitors to select either Altus Business Systems or Altus Consulting and taking them through to separate websites where they can explore a rich information portal, providing up-to-date news, views and valuable guidance as well as access to the Altus blog. Visit our new website at www.altus.co.uk

For further information or if you have any queries regarding the new brand please contact the marketing team marketing@altus.co.uk
Transfers and Re-registration market update

Electronic transfers and re-registrations continued to see growth during the third quarter of 2014, both in terms of the number of participants and volume of transfers.

The overall volume of electronic transfers rose by close to 10% over the second quarter of 2014 and a number of live participants rose noticeably.

At the end of September 2014 and the number of TeX members supporting live electronic transfers and re-registration was 97, covering over 80% of AUA on advisor platforms and 90% of UK funds managers FUM. Read more...
Altus and Old Mutual Wealth Short-listed for Award

Altus Consulting and Old Mutual Wealth have been short-listed for the Financial World Innovation Awards 2014 for their innovative ‘Operational Cost Model’ submission in the 'most innovative use of data' award category taking place on the 27th November in London.

We are honoured to have been recognised by the Financial Services industry for bringing clarity to the complex world of technology costs. The unique IT operating cost model that we have developed with our clients has helped them design and plan transformational change, cutting analysis time by over 60% and enabling them to understand current and projected run costs like never before.
(Steve Gazzard, Kevin Okell Director of Altus Consulting, David Thompson Managing Director, AXA Elevate and Kate Silverton)
The Aberdeen UK Platform Awards

This year, the awards were held at the Hilton on Park Lane, a landmark, 5 star hotel in London’s fabulous Mayfair and hosted by Kate Silveton. They had the biggest turnout the event had ever seen with over 550 people attending. The awards are open to platforms, advisers and manufacturers of platform technology and toolset's.

Altus sponsored the Best Platform Provider (AUM up to £12.5 billion) award, congratulations to AXA Elevate for winning this award. Kevin Okell sat on the judging panel for three award categories: Best use of Platform Technology, Leading Integrated Planning Tool Provider and Leading Innovation Award.
Altus Out and About


NAPF Conference 2014

Altus exhibited for the first time at the NAPF (National Association Of Pension Funds) Conference on the 15th-17th of October in the ACC Liverpool.

Sir Bob Geldof opened with "40 years of rock 'n roll and I land up speaking to a bunch of pensions geeks" Watch Video.

The NAPF is the voice of workplace pensions in the UK. "We speak for over 1,300 pension schemes that provide pensions for over 17 million people and have more than £900 billion of assets. They also have 400 members from businesses supporting the pensions sector".


The 8th Platforum Annual Conference

Altus exhibited at the eighth annual conference which took place at the QEII Conference Centre in London on Wednesday 8th October 2014. Will this be the last time Holly Mackay hosts the Platforum conference?

Topics on the day included: Building a contract with the customer – how to pay more than lip service to trust and corporate responsibility, The World Post-2014’s Budget, Platforms as investment partners? Due diligence and best practice.
 
Altus Staff get Involved for Local Charities!

On Friday the 24th of October Altus took part in a number of fund raising events for Ted's Big Day Out Charity, to help transform care for patients and their families at Bath’s Royal United Hospital.

Staff held a 'Cake Sale' and hosted a ‘Funky Footwear’ theme for the day. Altus staff raised £260.00 for the charity.
Experienced-Based Business Architecture Course
11-13th November 2014


Next week Altus will be running its popular Business Architecture training course.

The course will give delegates access to real Financial Service industry examples, models and case studies and equip them with practical structured techniques to take back and apply in their own organisations.

Who should attend?
The course is designed specifically for Business Architects requiring a refresher and senior Business Analysts who are looking to move into the business architecture discipline.

Course delegates comments â€œVery impressed by the quality of the trainer and methodology” - â€œGreat balance of theory and practice”.

94% of those who previously attended said the course was extremely valuable and was delivered with knowledge and passion.

3 day course overview:
  • Business Architecture Fundamentals - Introduces the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of Business Architecture.
  • Business Capability and Process - Some theory behind Capability and Process Frameworks and how they are used by Business Architects to drive change within the business.
  • Organisational design - A look at the strategy behind organisational design, its structure and ownership, and reward considerations in design, plus a look at multi-sourcing models.
  • Strategy and Operating Model - Covering the upward facing aspects of Business Architecture including: the Business Model and its impact on the Operating Model, techniques for strategic analysis, strategy impact assessment, and managing tactical dispensations.

For more information on the course please contact Caroline Evans, Head of Training caroline.evans@altus.co.uk or click here for further course details.
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In the Press!

Electronic transfers and re-registrations continue to rise
FT Adviser

Design system to avoid wasting valuable retirement guidance time
Sipps Professional

Read more of Altus in the press...
Latest Blog: PS13/1: Sunset; the real view for platforms and advisers part 1

With April 2014 a fading memory for most, the next legacy business challenge for platforms is April 2016’s ’Sunset clause’.  Alas, there is not likely to be a Hollywood movie ending for the majority of those involved. Read more...
 
Defined Ambition: a paradigm shift in pension provision

Courtesy of Steve Webb and the DWP the UK should shortly have a 3rd type pf pension regime called Defined Ambition (DA) running alongside Defined Benefit (DB) and Defined Contribution (DC) which allows for risks to be shared with 3rd parties as well as between the members, employers and scheme administrators.

This means personal pensions, SIPPs and possibly even NISAs could benefit from investment guarantees giving members certainty of future pension income and at some point in the future when the member wants to start to retire; new style ‘synthetic annuities’ that deliver a guaranteed income for life, but without the costs and inflexibility of today’s annuities.

This really is a paradigm shift in the UK and opens up the market to investment banks, reinsurers and other large international $Tn capitalised companies wanting to expand into the UK.

Altus Business Systems are leading a steering group of large international organisations exploring the feasibility of delivering the new DA solutions in the UK. Each organisation has signed a syndicated consultancy agreement and started work-streams that will conclude mid-December 2014 with a ‘go / no-go’ decision as to the next implementation stage. Altus Consultants are now busy facilitating operational workshops to ensure the solution works in practice and giving participants a glimpse of our unique industry models in the process.
Altus helps provider with Solvency II sustainability  

With less than 14 months until Solvency II implementation date, insurers need to ensure they can meet the new capital adequacy, governance and reporting requirements not just on January 1st 2016 but repeatedly. 
 
This month, Altus Consultancy undertook a review of a major insurer’s Solvency II programme to assess its readiness to comply sustainably with the new regime.  While our findings indicated a high degree of confidence in achieving internal model approval and hitting the implementation deadline, Altus highlighted further actions needed to embed Solvency II into “business as usual.”

Our client is using this insight to target process improvements and define a more sustainable operating model. Read more in our latest blog - Solvency II: the home straight
Altus Sponsors Local BWB Football



Altus is proud to announce that for the second year running it is the main partner for the Bath & Wiltshire Schools Sports Trust (BWB) programme. The sponsorship from Altus enables the Trust to provide the opportunities so valuable to the boys and girls living in the BANES and Wiltshire area.

The partnership allows the junior teams to continue their training programme at Chilcompton and Keynsham in all age groups as well as various school festivals. We look forward to working with BWB and to a successful season ahead. Click here to visit the BWB website

If you are interested in joining the BPSFA team as a coach, volunteer or player then contact them on info@bpsfa.com
Qualifications



Altus invests heavily in keeping their staff trained and up-to-date in industry issues and we are pleased to announce, Altus Consultant Lester Lasrado passed unit 1 - Certificate in Financial Planning exam with flying colours.
Upcoming Events
 


Altus is proudly exhibiting and sponsoring the drinks reception at The TISA Annual Conference which is being held at Plaisterers' Hall in London, this year's theme being 'Getting the UK Saving More'.

The TISA conference presents an opportunity to listen to some senior figures as they provide their views of the industry from different perspectives - the media, the economy, the industry, the regulator and the government. Come and visit the team on stand we'll be pleased to welcome you. Click here for more details about the conference.                      
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