By Chris Dastoor
Advice Intelligence expands WealthMap functionality amid battle against paper SOAs
With mounting scrutiny on antiquated client documentation distribution methods, advice fintech Advice Intelligence has further expanded the capabilities of its WealthMap service.
The software provider has added SMSF modelling and investment data feed functionality to its service.
The live data feeds also enable WealthMap to start the first iteration of dynamically tracking a client’s financial plan to their goals and life aspirations on their client portal, creating a secure digital client experience and mitigating a security risk that has been noted by industry observers.
Additionally, the firms’ open API will launch in April and advice businesses will be able to connect with other software tools and applications to help simplify building unique tech stacks.
The tech firm – which has long utilised offering digital Statements of Advice – argues the modern consumer is reliant on smartphone applications for engagement and the advice profession must be prepared to offer a digital engagement option.
“ASIC has made their point very clearly and publicly noted that digital SOAs are compliant,” a.i. chief executive Jacqui Henderson tells Professional Planner.
“As a delivery mechanism, they are completely agnostic on the way which an SOA is delivered. They don’t mind if it’s digital or done on video.”
The move away from the current form of SOA has been a key topic particularly following the Quality of Advice Review lead Michelle Levy’s proposal to scrap it altogether.
While the Minister for Financial Services Stephen Jones isn’t willing to go as far as Levy’s recommendations on SOAs, he has signalled an openness to reform the process to allow shorter documents.
In the meantime, the Financial Planning Association has heavily encouraged advisers to utilise video SOAs.
Additionally, relying on insecure methods of communication, like email, presents advice practices with further risks, which Henderson says digital SOAs mitigate.
“The delivery of a digital SOA can be delivered to a client’s portal which needs to be accessed through multi-factor authentication, rather than having paper and email SOAs delivered to clients, which can present cyber security risk,” Henderson says.
The advice fintech has received $50 million in private equity and institutional funding since conception in 2016.
The platform was originally co-developed with Milliman and then acquired outright by the fintech a few years ago. It models client goals, advice strategies, and research comparators for super, pension, investments and insurance.
“We’ve been wanting to provide a lot of innovation so that has taken time,” Henderson says.
“Getting all the pieces to complete the advice process and provide that holistic and comprehensive view of digital advice is quite a journey to undertake. [The addition of SMSF functionality] now completes a lot of that journey because a lot of advisers do provide SMSF advice.”