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Episode details

Louis van der Merwe
Welcome to another episode of Ensombl Advice South Africa. Today I have the pleasure to have in person over a drink I have with me Dylan Verreynne. Dylan is the head of business development for Wealth Bit, which is a piece of FinTech software that we are currently experimenting with in our business. And I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk a little bit around Dylan’s history in financial services, share with the listeners, what he’s working on currently, what it takes to build and run a FinTech business, and maybe some of the uncommon questions, financial advisors expect these tools to do solve. Dylan, thank you for joining me today.

Dylan Verreynne
Thanks for having me excited to dive a little bit deeper.

Louis van der Merwe
Get a really long drive. So Dylan lives down the road from our office. But you’re not originally from Durban ball from Cape Town. Give us a little bit of that, that backstory. Yeah, so

Dylan Verreynne
I’ve had an interesting kind of history. And I guess we’ll get into a little bit deeper on how I got to this point in my life. But I I was originally born in Cape Town. I grew up in Pretoria and moved back to Cape Town originally and then spent five years in the UK. In my past life, I was actually a cricketer. So that was my job for five years, and came back to Cape Town and always stayed in the southern suburbs, and then met my beautiful wife and she was a local Finland and girl and she convinced me to move to the dark side here in Devon law. So this is now Yeah, where we call home.

Louis van der Merwe
Wonderful, wonderful. I want to know a little bit more about their careers as sportsmen and and the parallels to financial services like are they are there anything that surprised you when joining financial services that might had been, like slightly similar to being a sportsman.

Dylan Verreynne
Yeah, I think in with, as in anything in life, you can kind of draw parallels from different aspects of your life. And the thing that I noticed off the bat was, in sport, you’re always doing things behind the scenes that no one sees, so that you can get better at what you do. And when I joined the industry, I obviously had zero experience like anyone else who joins an industry. And it helped me understand you know, what I need to put in the effort behind the scenes, so that when I get onto the playing field on game day, I can show up and it’s, it’s all about that graft behind the scenes. And that hard work is kind of what sport brings into everything.

Louis van der Merwe
So when people listening to this episode, I’m sure most of them would be able to relate around the elements that clients don’t see.

Dylan Verreynne
And it’s that initial kind of foray into the financial service industry, when any of us starts, it’s a difficult industry to crack. And it takes a lot of resilience. Any advisor that you meet that’s been in the industry for more than five or 10 years, they have a certain, a certain bit of resilience because they wouldn’t have got their they couldn’t get through some tough times.

Louis van der Merwe
Or they might not realize there’s easier ways to make a living, especially starting up, right. So tell me about that. Leaving school, how did you get from leaving high school to ending up in financial services? And what was that financial services dream job? Was it working in the FinTech side? Or did it start out differently?

Dylan Verreynne
Yeah, so my dream was always to be a professional cricketer, I never considered any other line of work. And I fortunately, I say, fortunately had a big injury when I was a metric. And it took two years out of my sporting life. And so the reason I actually went and studied, and I luckily got good enough marks at school, and I need to now decide what I was going to go study at Stellenbosch. And at that point in my life, I never, I never had any financial role models in my life growing up. And it was something that I, I made a decision very early on in life, that I am not going to deal with money the same way that my family dealt with money. And I decided, Okay, I’m gonna go study, why not actually use that as an opportunity to learn a little bit more about money. So a study that be calm at Stellenbosch. And I’m happy that I’ve completed that, and after I completed, then I got a call from an agent and I went and played cricket. And then when I came back, I didn’t really know what I was going to do with my life, as most sportsmen at the end of their that little career, when it’s not so successful career, you’re kind of doubting where you stand in life. And I got called by a recruiter at a company that all they were looking for really was someone with British experience, and we’re not going to go into names.

Louis van der Merwe
We can take a guess, but we’re not gonna go.

Dylan Verreynne
We’re not gonna go down that road, and

Louis van der Merwe
it won’t be so.

Dylan Verreynne
It was basically a, what I didn’t realize at the time was, it was a pure sales role, and ended up working for them. And it was my first real job in the financial service industry. And that’s kind of where the resilience came in. And very quickly, I say very quickly, I lost that about a year and a half at that company, which is an achievement in itself. And very quickly realized, you know, what, that’s not the type of place that I want to stay in. And very quickly move more into more of the buy side of things. And being a proper financial advisor, went and studied my post grad. And, yeah, I ended up a couple of years later, with a few events happening in my life, and my dad passed away suddenly. And when things like that happen, we tend to think about where we are in life and what we really want to be doing with our lives. And I realized I was making a difference to my book of clients, I was able to give them a great service, albeit a very frustrating experience because I would spend two hours putting a plan together go see them. They then told me something that they have that I didn’t know before I went to put the plan together, had to go back and forth, back and forth. But I made sure I was giving them a great service. And so my dad died and I was at this point where you know, what, am I making a big enough difference in the world? And I wasn’t I was servicing my 120 clients and they were getting a great experience. But there’s an opportunity because most advisors come from the same kind of school as myself where they get into financial service calm opinion, they taught how to sold in the financial service industry. So there was an opportunity to make a difference to more clients, by helping advisors give better advice to a broad, broader kind of client base. And I met the guys at wealth good. And I decided, You know what I’m I’m joining you guys, I resigned on the spot. And I said, I’m, I’m going to be part of the team. And I’m going to make a difference in the advice space. And that’s, that’s where I am

Louis van der Merwe
quite a few very mature decisions. And I want to know about that shift away from sales into advice, where you, you said, Hey, I’m going to stay in this industry where a lot of people say, I’m going to leave, I’m going to become a teacher, I’m going to do something else. The stats are saying to us, almost 90% of people have had a bad sales experience. They’ve changed careers completely. Whereas you went deeper, took me through that decision, why not leave?

Dylan Verreynne
It goes back to, I guess the core reason why I decided to study something in the financial space. And it was, I didn’t, I wanted to be clever with my money. And I understood how important proper advice could be to clients. So stepping away from the more salesy role into proper advice role was kind of doubling down and saying, you know, what, this is the right industry, I need to make a difference. But I’m going to do that by getting even better and providing a better service and not just sending people stuff, they don’t need

Louis van der Merwe
to go into the route and saying, okay, am I in the right place? I’m, I’m on the right path, maybe just not in the right seat.

Dylan Verreynne
It’s, it was a conscious decision.

Louis van der Merwe
And then the shift to wealth bit, which sounds like a much faster decision is like, hey, there’s something that’s resonating with me, and I’m gonna make the decision on on the spot. In hindsight, did you make that decision too quickly?

Dylan Verreynne
I don’t think so. I think it’s, it’s something that I’ve always had in my being is help more people will do, I will take on any role that will help more people at the drop of a hat. And it was an opportunity that doesn’t come around every day. Especially for someone that is a financial advisor moving slightly into the tech space, it’s not a sudden opportunity to get very often, I was very interested in the tech space, I explored all the tools that are out there at the time. And it was just a kind of a lightbulb moment, you know what I need to, I need to help advisors help more people, there are more people like me out there that want to give great advice to their clients, and I can help them.

Louis van der Merwe
Wonderful. And I think the discussion around the FinTech piece, it always looks easy from the outside, or when I say always, when we look at the tools out there, it’s almost like looking at a really successful sportsman or really successful asset manager, we see the ones that are still around. So there’s that survivorship bias. And we don’t necessarily see all of the hard work behind the scenes just like as financial planners, our clients that see that. So tell me a little bit about the hard work behind the scenes. What does it take? How long does it take to build a FinTech business that is sustainable in South Africa?

Dylan Verreynne
Around seven and a half years. And that’s where we are now. So your first few years. And I think the thing that people often see and like you said, you see the companies that succeed, you don’t see all the mistakes that those companies make along the way, you don’t see all of the companies that no longer exist. And where, where the tough thing comes, is that survivorship and knowing you know what your version one of your tool, not everyone’s gonna love it. But are you willing to, again, double down, double down double down, in order to build something that you’re proud of, at the end of the day? What often happens, especially in the FinTech space, is people build a piece of a system, and you get an insurer or you get a big asset manager come in and say, Cool, we’re gonna we’re gonna buy you hours, and then you end up building something that you never envisioned from the start. So it’s a Yeah, it’s a journey that you need to be brave on, and you need to stand your ground. So we haven’t taken on any external funding within wealth, but and at at times, it’s tempting. But getting to that point where seven and a half years later, we’re now okay by ourselves is a big thing. So it’s got to, again, resilience, right? Stick to what you’re doing stick to your guns, maybe have pockets deep enough to sustain yourself in the initial period. That’s our draft.

Louis van der Merwe
It’s an important thing that you mentioned there around external shareholding. But I do think sometimes we start tech businesses with a clear exit in mind either Selling or generating potential revenue or being utilized in another business to within wealth. But what is that kind of long term? Is it just gaining share in the market and delivering great service.

Dylan Verreynne
So both bits main Sir, our bx, big, hairy audacious goal is we want to help a billion people worldwide to better understand their financial situation and get to a better, better outcome. And that’s, that’s basically it. Once we do that, then we can say we’ve achieved our goal. It’s never been the idea to exit or anything like that, we want to get to the point where both clients and advisors loved using wildcards and with the kind of asset managers data that we’re putting in creates a nice little ecosystem. And again, promotes that the right way, I think of financial advice, where the clients and their advisor have a collaborative kind of journey and building their financial plan, bringing the providers after that fact into the situation and saying now that we’ve solved your issues, or now that we have everything together, bringing them into the situation. And that’s kind of viewed as all watered down in a nutshell, it’s helping advisors and clients to get on the same path.

Louis van der Merwe
Do you see a space where this is direct to market, excluding that advisor? Or is, is there still a role for the advisor to play in a space where we could build a lot of that advisors, value add within a system?

Dylan Verreynne
Yeah, so I, we’ve done a lot of research on this. And, you know, there’s always in the tech space, and it’s gotten a little bit better, but there was always the who the robots are coming to take over our jobs and kind of Robo advice is going to be the only thing in the industry. And honestly, we don’t believe that Robo advice works. We believe that it maybe works in us in small bits and pieces. But a human, it’s human nature to want to sense check any big financial decisions with a professional. So we’re always going to create the ecosystem for that to happen. So let the tech do all the heavy lifting all that administrative stuff that you shouldn’t be doing anyway. Because it’s not your core role. But use the tech to do that. And then do what you do best go spend more time with your clients. That’s, that’s what we want. We want you to spend more time with your clients, we never want to take an advice out of the industry.

Louis van der Merwe
So Dylan, if we’re saying that this technology is built to make your back office run more efficient, you just say, free up more time don’t spend it buried in paperwork? And what are the elements that you see in financial advisors or users of wealth that are saying, Wow, I used to spend X amount of hours doing something and now I’m doing, you know, off x? And what are those things that you’re how are they creating efficiencies, I

Dylan Verreynne
guess. So I can give you one exact example. And we did a test this month on one of our MSPs and gathering information from service providers to put together a client’s plan we saved in this month, 136 hours within their company gathering data. And if you think about it, 136 hours is a lot of client meetings that you could be doing. So just one part of what but which is the data consolidation already saved that amount of time for each advisor, I would argue

Louis van der Merwe
that at least one or two full time staff members, right? With the added accuracy. I got what are we seeing in terms of accuracy stats? Like is it? Is it better than humans doing this? Or is it just a function of where the data is coming from?

Dylan Verreynne
Yeah, so as a whole, there are less mistakes than if a human asked to type it into an Excel spreadsheet. I always laugh when I say Excel, because as advisors, that’s where we all kind of went eventually get everything put in an Excel spreadsheet with all our formulas and everything. But spreadsheets break formulas break, there are too many people going in and changing things that breaks. And now what happens is when we take on a client, or a new FSP, we do the first time we get the data from the various service providers, we’ll do a data check. And we’ll say we’ll run through everything with a couple of advisors or some of the ops people in the company and see made sense, check everything. Let’s check if there’s any mistakes. And if there are slight errors, you catch it then but once it’s done, it’s done. And then going forward. It’s a smooth process. What

Louis van der Merwe
sorts of errors would that be? It’s,

Dylan Verreynne
it’s normally an error, where some not all acid, or not all providers are built equal. And the errors normally creep in where they have given for some reason, this new data set in sense, and not in rands. So there’s extra two zeros on the end of everything. Or we had we took on a new Service Provider A couple of months ago. And we very quickly realized when they gave us the holding data within assets Each underlying Fund had the value for the entire assets. So if you have one line fund, your asset was four times more. So it’s little things like that that happen along the way. And there’s no standardized process in the industry, which I think I would love us to get to. So, advisors, I mean, advisor, advisors, providers are almost on this journey with us and making the value prop a little bit better by reporting,

Louis van der Merwe
which is powerful. So Dylan, when you say no standardized set, is that would that be like how asset managers are delivering data to financial advisor practices? Like what is the what is the method? Because we hear about these a thesis standard, we hear about standards of reporting, what would it have to take for there to be a standard of data exchange between platforms and advisor practices?

Dylan Verreynne
Now, it’s an it’s an interesting question. And I think, if we, if we look, it’s always better to understand the root of why something is the way that it is. And if we look back at the industry, and it’s getting better, don’t get me wrong. But providers were gatekeepers of information. And what they wanted to do was keep their data close to their chest, because they wanted to keep your clients with it. So we all know of providers when you want when you took on a new client, and maybe you wanted to do a section 14 transfer, the provider would directly mail the client with this is what you’re giving up. By moving,

Louis van der Merwe
I wanted to talk to you the the best I’ve heard is that the trustees asked me to give you a call. Because these are the insane. It’s crazy.

Dylan Verreynne
It’s the root of the problem has been and you see it more with kind of the older insurers and they’re getting better, they’re getting a lot better, I always want to give credit where credit’s due, they are coming to the party now. And we’re getting more and more of them, who are actually willing to work with us to make their data reporting process a lot better. And it’s, it’s good to see, I’m part of my goal is change the face of the industry. If you see me on LinkedIn, you’ll see I say, changing the financial service industry. And I believe that’s one of them getting data reported in the standard format, eventually, maybe not in my lifetime. But that is the end goal to make things easier.

Louis van der Merwe
Would that serve what it said with the seaso? Would it sit with governing bodies? Would it sit with a group of practices, the FIA, the FBI? Like, if someone’s listening to this, please reach out and, and help us?

Dylan Verreynne
Yeah, I mean, I don’t really know is the honest answer. I think there are various standards from a Sisa and those sorts of things. But they don’t necessarily talk to how that reporting is done to end user clients such as that you have to have a report, you have to have these details in an audit has to be in this format. One thing I’d love also, we might be digressing is all fact sheets can be standardized. I think all vaccines should look the same have the same layout, have the same details on it. Because we try and show a client now you’re showing them various options, each factsheet, you show them looks different. How do you compare?

Louis van der Merwe
That leads us to another challenge around within the technology. Like if you’re plugging in funds, and you’re plugging in asset allocations, you need to get that data in some way. Because that’s not included in the data from these platforms are like where does wealth but get the enhanced Information on total expense ratios and asset allocation data is the reliable data out there that’s accurate and updated.

Dylan Verreynne
There there is and providers are getting better and actually being able to share that data with us directly, which is good. And but there are sources, I mean, we all know the various tools that you can use that you can get asset allocation dates on everything. And that’s, I think the key point would take right, there are, there’s always three five different ways to skin a cat. And normally, it’s a combination of all of them, that creates an end product. So obviously, first prize is getting that asset allocation data from a provider. But if the provider you mean asset manager, asset manager, yeah, so coming directly from them. But if we don’t have that there needs to be a way to get that for advisors using the system, because that’s what tech needs to do. It needs to provide you with the efficiencies. So we may find a way to make it work. And luckily there are there are places where you can get the asset allocation and it is probably high 90s percent of the time accurate. That’s an indication data. Okay, which is good.

Louis van der Merwe
That’s helpful as opposed to just saying, Oh, 60% is undisclosed, exactly what’s the current we don’t know where your friends are. Let’s invest in somewhere and just contacting you. So now your data is coming into the system, you have a sense of reliability and accuracy, how does wealth but make sure that someone else is not seeing my client data? And what are the things behind the scenes that you can maybe share with us around data segregation, and keeping those walls between practices?

Dylan Verreynne
Yeah, so first, firstly, I always make a joke that I don’t even get to see. So it’s always important for any, any tech company that consumes data to have very, very strict data security policies are their security policies on on our website, if you want to go check it out. But it’s, it’s really intense in a in a sense of, there’s even within data teams, there are only certain people that can see certain things. So you effectively never get the entire picture. If you see a bit of data, you’re seeing that bit of data and you can’t piece it together, this data goes with that data goes with that data, which if you put all them together, now I can work out that isn’t always client X that has this, this this. So it’s about segmenting the responsibilities within the team, and making sure that all those responsibilities work together, but independently of

Louis van der Merwe
each other. Okay, like, that’s the kind of anonymizing the data that you work with a relevant piece, but it’s not gonna give you information that you don’t necessarily need. So now we have secure data, and we have regular data that’s, that’s in the system, like, what is the thing do with that data? Like, how does it plug into the financial predictions? Or walk me through when an advisor logs into wealth, but what’s the most common thing that they do?

Dylan Verreynne
The most common thing that they do firstly, is good. Okay, well, now I understand how everything fits together. But what what generally happens is, and again, it’s comes down to that efficiency and what we spoke about earlier about taking, doing the things that take time for you that you didn’t, that you don’t have to do it. So advisors will go in and say, Okay, I’m reviewing client X, tomorrow, click on client X profile, then what but it’s called their dashboard, their dashboard opens, all the data is pulled in, the data is accurate. And you can actually go right now to have a review meeting with the client. So they’re using this system to, you know, play a couple of games of golf extra a week, but it’s, it’s for those advisors, five minutes before review meeting, remember that they have that review meeting, and they’re able to log in and go, okay, cool, actually, we’ve got an updated plan for this client, and we’ve got something to work with. And then the idea, and the whole, I think we won’t, but key differentiate is, is the interaction that the adviser has with the client in that meeting, using the system. So it’s not we’re going to generate your plan, and then come and see you. It’s, let’s login together, your plans updated. But now let’s go through that process and look at some of the adjustments we can make. And it’s a consultative experience between their buyers and the client rather than the old school and telling you to do this, because I’m going to get 3% upfront.

Louis van der Merwe
This week, there’s an article on kitsis.com about the rise of collaborative planning and the demise of the written financial plan. And we’re seeing that in our business, right? Someone say, oh, what would happen if I do this? And the challenge we have is that when someone turns in and we are caught unprepared for that scenario, right? Oh, to tell me like, What do I what happens to my plan, if this happened, are sorry, give us a bit of time to update your plan. And we’ll let you know tomorrow or two days. It’s almost like the suicide hotline that says don’t phone now phone back tomorrow. Like it’s, it’s not as valuable when you need it now. I look at

Dylan Verreynne
it in this way. And it’s it’s an interesting kind of way to think about it. And think it was a case of risk you add a quote your customers perception is your reality. So they’re in the past, they used to compare financial advisors with financial advisors. Now, any of your clients, they want to order their groceries, what do they do? They go on their phone order from Willie’s or checkers, within 60 minutes their groceries arrive. That’s a great customer service. I want a new kettle. I gone to one of the ecommerce stores by my purchase a candlelit arrives at my door great service. They’re expecting that from financial advisors, right? So if they call you and you tell them give me two days to get back to you, for them, now they’re seeing maybe maybe I can get better service out there. And that’s where kind of the technology and having them involved is, is key.

Louis van der Merwe
I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced same day delivery with Tagalog. But once you have that, waiting that’s acceptable. You’re like ah wasters. Who is the deliver now? Option? Do we need to charge based on urgency? I do think we should have pricing mechanisms that would allow clients to say, hey, if I need advice, now, I want to have access to it versus Oh, you pay a little bit less, but you wait a little bit longer.

Dylan Verreynne
I. So I think there is an opportunity for it, I would say, think about your practice and how you want your practice to come across. It’s all good. And well saying, Okay, I’m giving, I’m going to give you a priority service, but then you’re going to have clients that maybe didn’t know about your priority service, because you didn’t tell them about it. And you’re not giving everyone a consistent service. And that’s key consistent advice across your practice and a consistent service. Because your client that doesn’t pay for priority advice is as much an advocate or detractor in the market than your client that does, you got to keep them happy.

Louis van der Merwe
How does that tie into advisor trust, because we keep on hearing about delivering on the expectation. And what I’m hearing you say is don’t manage the expectation rod actually deliver on what people already expected.

Dylan Verreynne
So advisor trust, it’s, it’s a big thing. And I. So honestly, it’s one of the reasons I love well, but it’s because it’s laid out there for the client to see, you’ve had a little bit of an experience now with the system, but you’re effectively giving your clients a login to their own dashboard, that they can log into 24 hours a day. So they can, they can see that by them by you giving them that access. That’s really building trust to them. You’re building that plan with them. They’re seeing the consequences of each decision along the way. And you’re helping them understand why they’re doing something. Understanding is a big part of trust. So if I tell you do this, just trust me just do this, but you don’t know why you’re doing that you’re not going to trust.

Louis van der Merwe
So true. So true. We’ve had a few conversations this week with clients where they said, Oh, but you’ve told me that I’m okay. And our approach now is to say yes, we might have said that in the past. But now I’m going to show you when we show you so that you can either agree or disagree that you will be okay or that we have some options. For this to work out. I want to know betterman used to have the set where they would report on the on the amount of client logins. And they would pick an advisor to say, Hey, your client is logged in 10 times in the last day. Is this some kind of stats that you have around the frequency of client logins and maybe kind of what behavior that drives?

Dylan Verreynne
So I don’t know about that offhand have those stats, what I can tell you within wildcards and remember, we saw a very young company, we see about just over 8000 single events happening on a daily basis within the system, which is already I mean, that’s, that’s pretty insane, that advisors are using the system so much. And the amount of end user clients that are now logging in initially, it was advisors logging in, and now it’s actually more clients that are logging in and advisors on a daily basis. But that’s because there are more clients obviously in the system.

Louis van der Merwe
How many advisors are using wealth bit actively? Like what is your active user?

Dylan Verreynne
So it’s just over 170?

Louis van der Merwe
Okay, so you’re now starting to see trains, you’re starting to see what people are requesting, what is the most asked for feature that you think is completely should not be asked for? They shouldn’t that shouldn’t be banned. And please don’t ask us to build this again

Dylan Verreynne
honestly IRR. Reason I don’t Is there anything is a bad thing. The reason it’s very difficult to build into any tool is it’s very dangerous to say you build an IRR calculation into a system and you miss a certain data points. It’s a very dangerous situation. I’ve seen a couple of companies try and give IRR calculations. And they are more than 90% wrong all the time. Because there’s one little deposit missed along the way. There’s one little kind of withdrawal missed along the way. And giving clients inaccurate information is worse than giving them the information.

Louis van der Merwe
I like that like that giving them inaccurate information is worse because what do they do with that advice now you know, your IRR. What’s a better way of looking at the success of someone’s finances? Because I think as a professional, we’re fixated on returns and maybe some of that is client driven. And yes, I’m not saying avoid looking at returns. But like I give that data is incorrect, but also what that what are you doing with it? What’s what’s a better way of determining clients success?

Dylan Verreynne
So I want to take a little step back and ask you a question on that. Why do we focus on returns? Or why have we focused on eternity? Sorry.

Louis van der Merwe
It’s probably a function of what the media is portraying, and having something to compare or potentially even defend your advice. And with advice, I say, your investment selection, more so then advice?

Dylan Verreynne
And it’s possibly because I’m trying to win a client. So I’m telling you, I’m gonna earn you 2% More than current advisor? Absolutely. It’s a vanity metric. Exactly. And that’s a dangerous slope. Right? So coming back to what is success for our clients? It’s, is the plan that we put together? Is that going to get me to my outcome? And that is not based on am I gonna get high enough returns, getting to the correct outcome is lifestyle decisions along the way, it’s the financial coaching. I know you’re a big advocate of coaching clients, and having that almost those financial literacy conversations with your clients. And the things that they do on a daily basis, is all the things that kill their portfolio, not earning half a percent less this year. And the success is how can you help your clients stay on that right track? So how do you help manage their lifestyle or their thinking around money, that they don’t make the same mistakes that maybe historically clients used to make? That for me is the biggest thing? Am I on track? Am I making the right decisions every day to stay on track? Am I enabling my clients to see those decisions?

Louis van der Merwe
And I’m guessing wealth, but allows us to have a meaningful conversation around how on track? Am I? Is it possible to report yet on progress towards the goal relative to where we were, let’s say it’s an annual review relative to where we were last year, this time? Because for a lot of our clients, like well, okay, last year, I was 90%. On track now 92%, right, that’s success, right? Or I’m at 88%. Oh, hold on, like we’re moving in the wrong direction.

Dylan Verreynne
So we’re actually busy looking at how to build an exact kind of thing like that. But what it does, the system does do is at the top, you’ve got a safe status. And the client is either highly unlikely or unlikely, or possibly likely, or highly likely. And on an annual basis, depending on the decisions that they’re making, and maybe extra contributions, they’re putting in maybe a few less cash flow events that they’re spending money on along the way, they can very quickly see I’ve gone from possibly being able to succeed, to likely being able to succeed, and it’s a big slider at the top of the thing front and center helps your client know, am I on track? Am I on track

Louis van der Merwe
doing this? There’s a probability of success calculation, where it will look at how many events actually turned out successful compared to how many fail?

Dylan Verreynne
So it effectively looks at what capital do I have? What decisions Am I making along the way? Where am I spending money along the way? And at retirement? What happens is it takes that into consideration and works out my income that I need for the rest of my life. What portion of that can I get from my portfolio? So if I can get 120% of what I want, I’m obviously you’re highly likely to succeed, buying it only 10% on what I need, then highly unlikely.

Louis van der Merwe
Good. So it’s a linear progression in saying great based on this, is there a buffer? Or is there not? Talk me through like the the mathematics behind wealth, but who’s checking that? How do we know the figures that we’re seeing is actually great? So the reason why I asked that is that sometimes we come across CRM systems where actually the financial planning tools or someone plugged in the wrong state duty numbers, or, and there’s so much of that going on. So like what certainty? Do we have that those numbers are actually great? So first

Dylan Verreynne
prize, always cents, check it yourself, and make sure that it comes to the same roundabout answer that you get no two systems, let me give you exactly the same answer, but that it gets to what you were expecting. But secondly, product providers do a lot of due diligence on us. You can imagine getting data from a product provider, it’s a process to get them to agree to give you data. So there are actuaries from various product providers that have actually checked the calculations in the back end and not going to say who but one of the big insurers want to use some of our calculations and we say no, obviously but it’s it’s that accurate. And the guys are we pride ourselves on calculation matrix basically.

Louis van der Merwe
Wonderful. So find your accurate friend, like get them to run the numbers and ticket. But I think it’s important because as a proficient, we’re moving away from the technical piece yet, what I’m seeing is that a lot of people are now discounting it, almost saying, Hey, we can get away without doing that. I think that’s a risk.

Dylan Verreynne
It is a big risk. And one of the one of the things that we always hear when a new advisor looks at wild birds, and maybe they’re skeptical advisor, because some people are skeptical, how can technology do these types of sorts of things. And while it is by design, simple, it’s simple UI, simple kind of visual of everything. But they don’t understand that in the back end, there is extreme complexity going on. So just because you see something on face value that looks pretty easy to understand, doesn’t always mean that the simplistic calculations going on. So I mean, we’ve got things like fiscal drag, even built into the system, which is very difficult to do on your own calculations.

Louis van der Merwe
I’m really excited about this, because I think the future where we use technology efficiently, we’re already seeing that, right, so the financial planning standards board. Last week, I put out an episode on the podcast around the skills that we need as financial planners. And the second last thing that I mentioned is you have to be tech savvy. Right? So this is not a requirement. It’s no longer optional. It’s no longer outsourcing it to someone in a business, to when I want to know is for financial planners that are upping the tech skills that are getting their practice ready to incorporate technology. What are the things that you think they should be spending time on to make the implementation easier in their business?

Dylan Verreynne
That’s a good question. And it’s one of my do’s and don’ts that I always say to people. So don’t expect the technology to be a sort of, it’s not something that I can click a button, and boom, now I’ve got this amazing technology in my practice, and it’s going to run everything perfectly right off the bat, the biggest thing that I can advise any advisor is once you implement a piece of technology, firstly, don’t implement something that thinks or that you think can do a bit of everything. Use very specialized pieces of technology in different parts of your business. But actually spend a little bit of time upfront, we’re in a game of telling our clients that they need to invest some money, right? So we need to invest some time into learning about that new system, how it’s going to fit in with your methodology within your business, because every business is different. If you want to plug and play and think that the way it’s going to work for you guys the same as your competitor next door, it’s not going to work to figure out how that tech works, spend some time getting to know it, and figure out how to implement it with each step or each stage of your process in your business. And then you find success,

Louis van der Merwe
or like would you say to the specialist tools, because the number one thing I hear is which tool will do everything. For me that is the holy grail, is it not because when I look at the marketing, and the packaging around wealth, but it seems like it could do a lot, it could consolidate a lot of the tools yet, what I’m hearing you say is, hey, we need a specialist tool.

Dylan Verreynne
And that’s specifically comes around being a CRM and being a financial planning tool. And being a I don’t know, a MailChimp, for instance, if you try and do various kind of core functions, that’s an issue. So while but is pure kind of financial planning tool that is used for an engagement with your clients? Yes, there are different parts of the financial planning process that it can do. But we’re never going to try and build the CRM because then we kind of dilute our value because we’re spending time on that. And we’re going to end up being a system that okay, in each portion, we will rather stick to what we’re good at, we’re going to blow your socks off with this planning tool. And we’re going to concentrate on that

Louis van der Merwe
matter. That was one of the steps where as part of this onboarding, we have to export data from our CRM, and I’m so thankful they’ve earned wealth box, because it was two clicks, yeah, was export, select or clients glaze my CSV file with all of my clients CRM data? And I couldn’t imagine that happening. Like, how easy is it to get data out of the average CRM that the average advisors using in South Africa?

Dylan Verreynne
So it depends on which CRM and newsflash some of them actually charge you to pull your own data, which is crazy.

Louis van der Merwe
I have to put down this drink. Okay. Yeah, in a world where there’s API’s, and there’s data that you can get freely, it should not be allowed. If everyone wants anyone who is in a, in a contract with that theory, please revisit the rationale behind that theory. As

Dylan Verreynne
they charge you for support requests, they’ll charge you for any additional training that you might need within the system. And it’s so we don’t believe that that should happen. We believe onboarding, training, everything should be just part and parcel of what we deliver.

Louis van der Merwe
It’s back to aligning those expectations, and saying, Hey, this is an expectation of a modern consumer. Yes, they happen to be financial advisors, or they happen to be clients or financial advisors. And we want to deliver a service that’s on par with anything else say they can expect.

Dylan Verreynne
I mean, even if they do it for the selfish reason, the better we onboard you, the better we train you, the longer you’ll stay with us. So even look at it from that view. If you want to make a client or advisor stay with you. Give them a really great onboarding experience and training experience. Don’t charge them for it.

Louis van der Merwe
As we come to the end of this conversation, is there anything you want to share with the listeners about your experience with onboarding and, and new advisors and the expectations around the software that you haven’t touched on today?

Dylan Verreynne
I think for everyone, I’d encourage you to have a look at us, first of all, and what Louis and then what I’ve seen is, we actually believe that you should try the system before you pay. So we actually do a two month free trial to any new client that wants to have a look at us. And what that is designed to is, is to help you see what the world would actually work within your business. So I’m a firm believer, because I wasn’t advised and I know what it’s like using a tool that doesn’t fit with my business. I’m a firm believer in trying it out, trying to see whether it is the right tool for your business. And once you make that decision, then you know that it’s the right thing for you. So don’t just jump into something, try it out, give it the two months and put in a little bit of effort along the way. We obviously help as much as we can. And onboarding team is brilliant. But yeah, try it, try it out, you know, business. And once you decide it’s good, or it’s not good for you, then that’s the way I think you should look at any piece of technology, don’t just say, someone Louise recommended this tool, I’m going to buy it and put it in my practice, actually do your research on everything. And then I think is the biggest kind of takeaway for everyone. Find the system that works for you don’t try and kind of paneled in systems to make it fit into your kind of ecosystem, if they

Louis van der Merwe
want to add that having a champion within your business to drive that someone responsible, not the person making the decisions. But it’s the person that’s probably going to use it and implement it, that has helped us in to make that decision. And like you said, these systems are like having your favorite beer. Yeah, and I can tell you my favorite beer, but it’s not going to be the same for the next person. So it’s not part of your role to figure out which pieces will work for your business. And it’s, it’s okay, if it’s not well, but you don’t have a lot of other options out there. You know, this, hopefully, there will be an evolution of this FinTech market within South Africa, so that we can actually use these tools and focus on delivering better quality advice for clients.

Dylan Verreynne
That’s what it comes down to. It’s the end user client that we want to give the best quality of advice to

Louis van der Merwe
the link for people wanting to reach out to you. What’s the best way to track you down?

Dylan Verreynne
There’s a couple of ways so you can follow me on LinkedIn. I’m sure Louis will put my surname somewhere because it’s impossible to remember how to spell it. But otherwise, if you go to one bit.co, so no M so just.co. You’ll have a look at our website. You can even book a demo directly into my diary. My diary is actually on our website so you can book some time catch up with me. Or fire me an email at Dylan at wealth but Dotco really, really easy.

Louis van der Merwe
Thank you so much for your time, and I wish you all the best.

Dylan Verreynne
Thanks. It was really, really good talking to you.



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