We like to stick our heads above the parapet. We see things differently. Our website says so.
So when we hear phrases such as the ‘time for disruption is now’, you’ll find us shouting from the rooftops in agreement.
But what has changed? And why is the season of change finally here?
The greater integration of technology has had much to do with the way asset management has developed. People often think of apps, greater efficiencies or innovative business models when they think of technology. But we like to think beyond these to the to the wider benefits – and the greatest advantage that technology has delivered, by far, in our opinion is transparency. Gone are the days when firms could hide away behind a screen of complexity and obfuscation, in the way they charge.
The regulator has a pricing mandate and has made it clear that it is going to enforce its powers for those who don’t comply. This is a new departure. Everything now needs to be out in the open – including fees. We fervently believe in transparent fee structures. As you may know, we’re also a great advocate of activity-based pricing. We welcome the fact that technology will help us explore new ways to deliver it through our low-cost platform in the future.
As more firms begin to employ a more open way of working, clients will be expecting total transparency. They need to be able to understand at a glance whether they are getting value for money or not. Advisers who can’t or won’t offer such clarity will be seen to be lacking.
At the heart of the debate, it’s important to consider why asset management exists. It seems the industry is quite happy to focus on fund characteristics, fees and the impact of indexing, for example, but doesn’t really seem to think about why asset management is here or what it means for the client? Asset management, after all, is essentially about allocating capital across various options, shares, bonds, gold or whateveretc in a way that delivers the best returns in line with the associated risk. Firms would do well to cut through the marketing-speak and make it clear what they can provide.
Time is of the essence. Those advisers who are unable to make transparency part of their business model are going to get left behind. So yes, the time for disruption is now and we’ll think you’ll find we’re one of the most disruptive disruptors around – come on board and see what, together, we can shake up next – for the benefit of all concerned!