Annetts & Orchard is a financial planning firm that specialises in creating retirement plans for clients. We first started using Dynamic Planner around 2015, because of the FCA’s Retail Distribution Review (RDR) at the very end of 2012. The FCA at the time ran a series of roadshows nationwide articulating its concerns of current practice in the sector.
We realised that we needed to conduct a review of our investment process, because at that time we were using a provider’s risk profiler, which was not whole of market, so we obviously had a massive gap in our process.
We decided that we wanted to use one company, which is going to map for us risk profiles of all the different types of investments we use. We asked ourselves, ‘Who shall we use?’ After looking around and looking at other risk profilers like FinaMetrica, we decided to go with Dynamic Planner. We like the 1-10 risk profile scale it uses and we like being able to use the Dynamic Planner app.
When we have an initial meeting with a client, we get to know them through the attitude to risk questionnaire. In the meeting, you can quickly move onto working on an iPad and go through the fact-finding process with a client: what is their attitude to risk; and how much risk is the client willing and able to take?
When it comes to recommending investments, we have a centralised investment proposition built around different client needs. We clearly map out client recommendations to an agreed risk profile and currently use Old Mutual and Aviva as platforms, but we may switch in the near future.
Dynamic Planner has helped us by fixing a massive hole in our investment process in terms of being compliant. Dynamic Planner does lots of great and different things, but the bottom line for us it that when we, as a firm, risk profile new clients – and regardless of where they sit on the scale, be it a 3, 4, 5 or 6 – we know that the investment we are recommending has been carefully mapped by Dynamic Planner. We don’t recommend anything which hasn’t been mapped by Dynamic Planner.
Dynamic Planner allows us to match an agreed risk profile with a suitable investment. That, in a nutshell, is what Dynamic Planner does for us and is where the value it has added to our business lies. Being able to risk profile clients on an app is a secondary benefit, but is also very helpful.
It is difficult to monetise or quantify specifically in terms of time, but what Dynamic Planner gives us is confidence. We know that a recommendation we make to a client using Dynamic Planner really is the right thing for them.
We very much feel we have a good relationship with Dynamic Planner. We know they will help with anything should we need it – and we enjoy the ability to give feedback on new projects Dynamic Planner is working on. We feel involved in that process and we feel supported as a firm. 100 per cent, we would recommend it to a fellow IFA in the South West.
Can we imagine our business without Dynamic Planner? Yes, we can, because we could use another risk profiler – but we wouldn’t want to. We have looked at other risk profilers and have concluded, ‘They’re just not as good as Dynamic Planner’. We’re not looking to change from Dynamic Planner, that is for sure.