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Origo CEO, Anthony Rafferty: Benefits of adviser tech advances wiped out if the fundamentals are not right

12 February, 2024

The benefits of the advances that can be made in adviser technology will be wiped out if the industry doesn’t have the fundamentals in place, says Anthony Rafferty, Origo CEO.

Advances in adviser technology, including artificial intelligence (AI)-empowered systems and processes, are set to deliver potentially huge efficiencies and cost savings for financial advice firms. There are exciting times ahead.

But the benefits could be wiped out if the fundamental processes feeding into this new tech are not keeping pace with the market.

A process is only as good or as fast as its weakest link. The value of an accelerated suitability report writing process for new business, for example, is undermined if providers are forcing advice firms to use paper, post, and fax in order to become authorised to represent the new client.

In effect, outdated processes are like a ball and chain on advice firms wanting to achieve the operational efficiencies which adviser tech solutions now make possible. Digital/automated processing should now be de rigueur across the industry for all processes affecting service to the end consumer.

Product providers have been in the firing line from financial advisers and their teams over the past 2-3 years, for slowing down their operations. The lang cat has produced a number of reports now on how the lack of integration for essential processes and a reliance on non-digital systems, are not only hindering advice firm operations and costing them money, but importantly, hampering firms in their ability to service to their clients.

Letter of authority applications, as an example, remain largely slow, paper-based processes within provider back-offices, taking weeks and sometimes months to complete. This causes an unnecessary delay before an adviser can really start helping their new client. Hardly an advert for a 21st century industry. You can read more about this here.

These are well-known industry problems for which solutions exist. As we see advice firms up their technology game, bringing in new digital/AI-based systems and taking advantage of the benefits they offer, so I anticipate we will see advisers become even more vocal about processes that cost them money and stop them helping their clients quickly and efficiently. It would not be a surprise to see advisers seriously consider which providers to use based on how their processing capabilities affect the adviser’s ability to provide the best outcome for their client.

- Anthony Rafferty, Origo CEO

As published on IFA Magazine: