Pinn Deavin is a progressive and proactive wealth management advisory firm who have consistently remained at the forefront of major financial, technological developments over recent years.
They were early adopters of Separately Managed Accounts (SMAs). More recently, they have successfully implemented a single software solution that manages their entire advice process, from CRM to document generation to implementation. Pinn Deavin continues to monitor the landscape for “what’s next” to help them save time, deliver better client outcomes, and improve their overall client experience. In other words, thinking and working smarter.
We sat down with Mark Cupitt, Director of Pinn Deavin, to ask what their process was and what tips he has for advisers looking for better solutions. This is what he had to say:
1. IDENTIFYING A NEED
The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) was, in many ways, a transformative moment for the Financial Advice industry. For Pinn Deavin, the GFC highlighted a need to review how they managed their clients’ portfolios.
They identified two needs:
- To gain greater efficiency around being able to make investment decisions and to act on these on their client’s behalf quickly.
- To overcome a lack of transparency regarding how their clients’ portfolios were invested.
After identifying these needs, Pinn Deavin set out to reimagine their business practices. They re-evaluated their portfolio construction methodology and moved all portfolios into direct equities, giving them the control and transparency they desired for their client’s portfolios.
However, managing 120+ client portfolios individually on a record of advice (ROA) basis proved to be a highly labour-intensive feat, which led to establishing a separately managed account service. This would later be transitioned to a managed discretionary account (MDA) service.
2. FINDING A SOLUTION
It was always clear to Mark Cupitt, Director of Pinn Deavin, and the Pinn Deavin team that they needed to successfully create efficiencies to manage their clients’ portfolios in their preferred style.
So, when Mark saw a presentation at a conference seven years ago, his team decided to approach DASH to discuss how we could meet their needs.
3. WORKING WITH PROSPECTIVE SOLUTION PARTNERS & TESTING
With a clear vision of how they wanted to manage their clients’ portfolios and a software provider that potentially possessed the capabilities they needed, Pinn Deavin embarked on a rigorous journey of testing and working collaboratively with DASH to develop a suitable software solution for their practice.
This process took Pinn Deavin nine months of thorough testing, ensuring their vision matched the reality of what was being delivered.
This considered and collaborative approach, along with choosing a provider which, according to Mark, was “Big enough to matter and small enough to care”, would ultimately be the key to Pinn Deavin’s success.
4. IMPLEMENTING THE TECHNOLOGY
Once the Pinn Deavin team had identified their solution and completed the work to ensure the technology would fit their needs, they were confident and ready to begin transitioning client portfolios to the new platform.
Knowing the transition would take time, the Pinn Deavin team planned and prepared accordingly before embarking on transitioning their clients over 18 months.
Since the original rollout of the MDA service platform, Pinn Deavin went on to adopt the DASH advice software further.
“Establishing a complete advice solution, using seamless end-to-end software and investment management platform, offering everything we need in one place, from MDA Management, client data collection, digital SOAs and our CRM, is seen as the “holy grail” for our practice .” – Mark C
Mark highlights the importance of communicating with clients throughout the process to prepare for significant transitions.
In the nine-month lead time, they had begun communicating with clients, gaining input and feedback, and generally including them in the process. By educating clients on the benefits and risks, Pinn Deavin further instilled confidence that they had their “hands on the wheel” and enabled the transition process to go smoothly.
TIPS ON FINDING & IMPLEMENTING TECHNOLOGY IN YOUR BUSINESS
When done well, technology can be one of the most critical tools in an adviser’s business and help unlock unrivalled efficiencies.
This does not occur by accident. There is rarely an “out of the box solution”. True success when implementing a technological solution requires vision, consideration, collaboration, communication and time because no two advice firms are the same.
So, how should advisers implement the technology best suited to their business?
BREAK THE PROCESS DOWN & ASSESS THE COSTS INVOLVED
By breaking the advice process into smaller components, it is possible to gain a deeper understanding of the cost involved at each step and how each step could be improved. These costs should include two components:
In doing this, the areas where the most reward can be had can be identified. Once these are identified, finding a new solution can begin.
For Pinn Deavin, they started their journey by adopting the use of SMAs and, over time, transitioned to a single software solution, which now manages their entire advice process.
INVEST THE TIME TO WORK WITH PROSPECTIVE PARTNERS TO GET IT RIGHT
According to Mark, if you’re looking at making any changes within your business, you need to take the time upfront to ensure you get it right. You don’t want to risk shiny toy syndrome and rush in too soon, which may cause your clients to lose confidence.
Work with prospective partners, and ensure you thoroughly test the solution to ensure it meets your needs. Once you’ve ironed out the kinks, then you can commit to it.
This will help prevent technology from being implemented that is not right for your business and leads to more problems than solutions.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Open lines of communication and feedback are consistent themes we see at DASH among practices that successfully navigate change. Ideally, this should be a collaborative process.
As with any system, there are limitations to functionality, but feedback drives innovation and development from any vendor.
Decide on what your must-have features are and what the nice-to-have features are.
Focus on the must-haves and provide feedback on the nice-to-haves so the provider can innovate to include these over time.
FOLLOW DASH’S INNOVATION IMPLEMENTATION FRAMEWORK
1. Measure the time spent on your processes across the span of one year.
2. Watch for downstream impacts on your process.
3. Enhance the non-sexy stuff first.
If you’re looking to find business efficiencies using better technology, contact the DASH team to help you diagnose where your quick wins are.
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