Insider - Sept 2017

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We recently concluded a busy but very enjoyable tour around the country delivering our latest round of AJ Bell On the Road seminars. As well as being a great way to share our knowledge and expertise, these sessions also present an opportunity for us to find out what topics are currently concerning advisers.

It seems that one particular issue of interest right now is platform due diligence, so you will be pleased to hear that this edition of Insider includes news of some valuable new resources that we’re making available on our Due Diligence hub to help you in this area. I hope you find them useful.

FinalytiQ SIPP Financial Stability Report 2017

We have seen a great deal of change in the SIPP industry over recent years. PS14/12 had a lot to do with it, but the fact is that this has driven advisers to look very closely at the business model and financial stability of the providers they use. All of which means that robust due diligence remains as important as ever.

As in previous years, we have negotiated terms with FinalytiQ that allow advisers registered with AJ Bell Investcentre to download their SIPP Financial Stability Report 2017 free of charge. This research benchmarks the top 16 SIPP providers who together account for more than 90% of the non-insured SIPP market.

"... we have negotiated terms with FinalytiQ that allow
advisers registered with AJ Bell Investcentre to download
their SIPP Financial Stability Report 2017 free of charge"

Focusing on the financial stability of SIPP operators, the guide looks at key market trends and their implications for providers, advisers and clients. You will also find extensive data on AUA, revenue, profit, profit margin, capital requirements and the ultimate P&L.

FinalytiQ Advised Platform Report 2017

If you are a previous user of our Due Diligence hub you will know that we made the FinalytiQ Advised Platform Report available to download in 2016. The good people at FinalytiQ have confirmed that the 2017 report will be available around mid-October. You will once again be able to download this research free of charge, so keep an eye on the hub for this.

As a general reminder, the hub features a wide variety of invaluable resources including material from the lang cat, Platforum and Defaqto. You can access the material here. We hope you find it all useful.

Brace yourselves … MiFID II is coming

The second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) comes into effect on 3 January next year, with the noble aim of protecting investors and improving transparency in financial markets. What this means for platforms like ours – and for advisers like you – is a load of new responsibilities.

"We will continue to keep you updated as
our MiFID II solutions develop and as the
implementation deadline approaches."

We have already done a lot of work on this, including a summary document that explains what the key impacts of MiFID will be, how we are equipping ourselves to deal with the new regulations, and how we can help you meet your own regulatory requirements.

We will continue to keep you updated as our MiFID II solutions develop and as the implementation deadline approaches. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact us or speak to your regional Business Development Manager.

Events calendar

We have just wrapped up another successful AJ Bell On the Road tour, which saw over 200 advisers join us at venues in Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow, Bristol and London – thanks very much to all of you who attended. We’ll be back again in the spring, so look out for future announcements.

Investival 2017

Next up in our calendar of events is our jazz-and-blues-themed Investival conference. With a month to go until the curtain rises, there are still a few places left but they won’t be around for long so make sure you secure one now.

"Next up in our calendar of events is our
jazz-and-blues-themed Investival conference."

If you can join us on 9 November at the beautiful Royal Institute of British Architects you’ll get to hear from the great and the good of the investment world with a line-up that includes Neil Woodford, Edward Bonham Carter, Mark Barnett and many other big names, all imparting their wisdom live on stage. It’s always a fantastic event and this year should be better than ever.

You can find more information about the day here. To secure your place, register now.

Digital strategy

Testing of our BETA 2 version of the AJ Bell Investcentre site is nearing completion and will be ready for release before the end of October.

This new version will include a simplified and more user-friendly adviser dashboard for managing the various day-to-day processes involved in holding your clients’ assets on the platform. There is an enhanced new business application procedure, with improved verification processes and an integrated feature for initiating transfers.

Straight-through cash transfer processing will mean that transferring schemes with Origo messaging capability can initiate and complete transfers online without any need for manual inputs, and a simple-to-use tracking tool will allow you to easily monitor the progress of outstanding transfers.

As ever, we would encourage you to try out the new BETA site and give us your feedback.

Final opportunity to provide your views - and maybe win a case of wine

I know I keep hammering away at this, so please forgive me if you’ve already spared the five minutes it takes to complete our adviser survey.

The reason I’m so keen for as many of you as possible to take part is because this is our best opportunity to ensure the platform stays relevant to your needs as we go forward. By completing the survey you can also place yourself in our free prize draw for a case of wine.

The survey has been extended, and closes on 13 October at 5pm. The prize draw will be held on 17 October 2017. Please read the terms and conditions for more information.

Monthly service performance

To give you a flavour of our service delivery and how we are performing, our typical turnaround times for a number of key service areas are outlined below. We will update this in each issue and flag any hotspots which may occur, particularly in the lead-up to peak periods.

The information below is not provided as a formal measure of our service levels, but rather to give you a general flavour of how our Customer Services Team is currently performing. Looking across all of the areas listed below, we are hitting the indicative timescales provided in 93% of cases.

Key contacts

Adviser Support Team

Phone: 0345 83 99 060


Business Development Team

0345 40 89 100

This information must not be copied or reproduced, in part or whole, without permission. This information is for adviser use only.

Managing Director

Fergus worked at a major bank for over 20 years before joining AJ Bell in August 2000. Since then he has worked in many areas of the business, and is currently Managing Director of AJ Bell Investcentre. Fergus is also responsible for AJ Bell Investments and our Platinum SSAS/SIPP products.