Lonsec works closely with advisers to build solutions that enhance a practices ability to serve clients, while building greater operational efficiencies. As innovators in managed accounts, we’ve always believed in their power to transform an advice business. Research indicates that practices using managed accounts see a noticeable uplift in revenue, and profitability per adviser, by up to 32% and most importantly facilitates increased engagement with clients.
The potential for improved business outcomes is clear, however change can be hard so we’ve asked Tim Scott, small business owner, co-founder and adviser at Ford + Scott Financial Planning (Tasmania), to share his experience, thoughts and the process he went through, to re-imagine business.
Watch the video below
Good morning, everybody. And welcome to Tim Scott, Principal from Ford Scott financial planning really pleased you could join us today. I’m Steven Jessop. I look after licensees and IFA’s nationally for Lonsec, and Tim has very kindly agreed to join us today to share some of the journey that he’s been on over the last number of years that we’ve known each other, where I’ve seen his business grow from strength to strength, and let’s take our audience through some of the big decisions that he’s had to make in a really tough regulatory environment.
Yeah, so we’ll try to run a core of managed funds and have a good good quality managed funds. And with direct equities as a satellite around the side. And, it worked. And it was certainly no disrespect to the fund managers, they’re terrific. And we’re still partnering with these guys in other ways. But the issue we had was the time the blending, the construction side, was just taking us away from what our core skill was. And by having a Lonsec in our core, who actually do that for you, you can’t put a dollar figure on the benefit of business has been, there’s no doubt in my mind, and I’m sure, Luke and Mark, and the guys back at the office would understand it’s been a significant part of what we’ve had revenue growth, because we’ve been out of focus on working with existing clients and attracting new clients. As a business, we had a lot of direct equity exposure to the business, we loved bespoke portfolios and working closely with our clients. Ultimately, that was a value add, but it wasn’t the key value to providing advice. Scalability was an issue for us. And Mark Ford, my founding partner and I were wanting to expand the business. But we couldn’t do so with a laborious approach to portfolio construction, then with our clients it’s all about education and for them to understand what we were as a core financial planning business, so we weren’t stockbrokers. And we weren’t there to pick the eyes out of the market. Obviously, where the reforms have gone, that’s becoming harder and harder to do that. But it’s just a time aspect to act on research. We’re in a fast moving society. Technical analysis flies by the screen every 30 seconds or so it seems. And for financial planning business, how do you actually react to that? And how do you communicate that with the clients. And so it’s all about education with our clients to explain that we are working with investment professionals that are going to be able to do that, on our behalf on your behalf. And that’s going to free us up to actually work more with you about what’s important for you. Yeah, I think from a client’s perspective, they have been able to get their advisor back to advise on what their goals and objectives are. Rather than being the stockbroker and the fund manager or the portfolio constructor per se, we still position ourselves and our portfolio construction process, and we explain to clients how our investment committee works, and how our approach to philosophy to Investment Management is. So, it’s really key to have that belief and ability to articulate that to your clients. But I think, the feedback we’ve been getting from our clients is, all of a sudden we in our reviews are more efficient, we’re actually going in and whether the review was a zoom or a call or an email or face to face, it’s more pertinent to what they’re trying to achieve, and we’re able to spend more time on changes that might be coming up for them. And that allows us to, you know, focus on potentially the planning benefits are of things they need to consider or the you know, the trips and traps that might be involved with what they’re next do. It allows us to actually prepare reports as slide decks around our portfolio construction. And quite often that we go through that at their own leisure, without having to sit in a meeting and go through it. So we finding our meet. From a review perspective, we’re more thorough, you know, the Safe Harbor provisions, which are so important in financial advice now, always have been, but even some more so from a regulatory perspective, we are able to actually focus on that, and deliver that for the client and get better achieve those better outcomes. One of the great and I think my staff would reaffirm as well, if we have a query, we have all segments of the business that can support us right away whereas the direct equities analyst, the person who is in charge of managed portfolios or whatever it will be, and they will give us a reason and answer to any query, but also their communications are very timely and onpoint, which is really good. And I think it’s important. The updates when there’s a portfolio change, it’s a using the technology that we have in the business and I think it’s available to all all players, practices, that would use a Lonsec iRate or a good administration platform, we have the ability to distribute the portfolio changes, run by the manager in an educational email and the clients are feel like they’ve got a really, tangible benefit by being back in touch and feel the portfolio
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