We refer often to the quote made to us by the head of a financial planning firm who described her technology infrastructure as a ‘messy ball of string’; lots of systems and bits of software that don’t speak to each other and require the painstaking re-keying of data for simple client transactions.
The tech companies are listening and we’re always happy to hear of new tie-ups that will bring down the admin time and the propensity for human error and help advice firms get on with the business of delivering a great client proposition.
This week, Timeline Retirement Income Software announced a data integration with Transact that will allow advisers to directly import their clients’ details and account holdings from the platform into Timeline without the need for manual re-keying.
Advisers using Transact will be able to assess the sustainability of withdrawal from drawdown portfolios, show clients how different scenarios may impact their portfolio, prepare clients for market volatility and highlight longevity risk. Timeline says, “once all data has been imported into Timeline, the retirement plan is 90% complete. Advisers can then work with clients to decide on an appropriate withdrawal strategy and evaluate results”.
We’ve spoken extensively with financial planners recently about their retirement propositions and many are big fans of Timeline. They tell us it helps make the case to clients, and that it’s a great tool to use interactively to put clients in a more informed position when it comes to discussing a sustainable withdrawal strategy.
What does it mean for Mrs Miggins?
If you’ve heard Transact CEO, Ian Taylor, speak at a conference you’ll have heard him refer to the legendary Mrs Miggins; a personification of the customer on the street and the real life financial advice conversations that Transact use to keep the end customer experience front of mind. While Mrs M might not think too much about data aggregation, she certainly doesn’t appreciate costly mistakes from re-keying or delays in the advice process caused by clunky systems that don’t speak to each other.
Retirement is a more nuanced proposition since pension freedoms. Financial planners report that more of their clients are taking a phased approach to retirement, and that the pension pot is no longer synonymous with income, which causes, as one specialist told us, “a real confusion in people’s minds between cash, lump sums and income”.
This announcement should make the retirement planning conversation and process easier for many financial planners. And that can only be a good thing. We hope more platforms follow Transact’s example.
We’d love to add Timeline to our Directory. Do you use it? What do you think of it? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
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