Advisers are doing more tire-kicking than ever as they band together to explore new collective technology sharing arrangements, according to HUB24  CEO Andrew Alcock.

Managed portfolios and separately managed accounts are the customised solutions Alcock is working with advice practices on implementing, but he paints a broader picture of a current environment where small groups of advisers – particularly those falling out of institutionally-owned advice groups – are banding together to create their own specialised advice offerings in a number of different ways.

“It definitely feels like the next iteration, the next phase of advice,” Alcock describes.

Alcock’s observations are mirrored by other technology and software providers working with advice practices seeking to adapt their strategies to fit with new customised technology solutions.

Alcock says HUB24 is regularly working alongside a range of specialist asset consultants; these consulting firms have emerged to help guide boutique advice practices looking to set up bespoke investment solutions.

This institutional-style approach to investment advice and implementation has also resulted in funds managers’ margins being squeezed, a trend Professional Planner has recently described.

Specialist asset consulting groups include the likes of Innova, the consulting firm born out of Fortnum Private Wealth, Quilla, InvestSense, which is headed by former Van Eyk directors, and traditional funds researchers-cum-asset consultants, Morningstar and Zenith Investment Partners.

“Some advisers we talk to know exactly what they want and where they want to go. Others have less of an idea and are exploring options,” Alcock says.

He describes an approach he’s had from three advisers who have recently left a bank-aligned advice business and decided to set up an alliance to share back-office and compliance costs. These advisers have conducted a “beauty parade” where technology providers including HUB24 have been called in to put their solutions forward.

Platforms are increasingly working on bespoke partnerships with advice practices and advice collectives as their margins continue to be squeezed and advisers continue to seek fewer technology partnerships.

In a similar way to what Alcock describes, CCUBE Integrated Wealth’s Nathan MacPhee is working with an increasing number of advice practices to implement software, a process which he says tends to be part of entire whole of business change management approach.

MacPhee will join change consultants to pick apart the technology implementation and strategy change led by Jordan Hawke, head of national advice network, AustBrokers Financial Solutions, at the upcoming Best Practice Forum.

Smith is head of content and managing editor of Professional Planner and Investment Magazine.
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