Skerritts Chartered Financial Planners

There are 42 of us working at Skerritts, including 11 advisers. We are a directly authorised, chartered financial planning firm with discretionary investment permissions, offering clients holistic, financial planning advice and wealth management. Within that, we have an in-house investment team managing approximately £475m in assets held within our range of funds and model portfolios.

We first began using Dynamic Planner in the summer and early autumn of 2019 and it tackled two issues really for us.

Firstly, we were using a different risk profiler, which produced a score from 1-10 for a client, but which we felt was very subjective about what that actually meant. In addition, we wanted to add another layer of compliance, so that we knew what a risk score looked like for a client and we knew, as a firm, what then we were working towards. Our Investments Team can then run model portfolios and funds based on a target risk score.

Dynamic Planner covers risk mapping and what a portfolio would look like at a given level of risk and it also asks clients questions concerning their capacity for loss, which means we’re covering more in a client fact find. That then gives the client an opportunity to discuss capacity for loss, whereas previously there wasn’t a set trigger point to spark those questions and conversations.

‘A consistent approach’ to risk profiling clients

Advisers have started using the option Dynamic Planner offers you to invite the client to complete risk profiling questionnaires on their own, prior to a meeting – and in the future we hope that will become our standard process.

Ultimately, Dynamic Planner helps you easily demonstrate, compliance-wise to the FCA that, as a firm, you have a framework in place for risk profiling clients and that those questions are being asked. It shows you have a consistent approach.

Secondly, during the due diligence process of signing up with Dynamic Planner, its new Client Review process and report became available, which was something we were looking to introduce across the firm: a formalised and MiFID II-compliant client review process – one in which the admin team could easily support advisers with, freeing up adviser time.

Dynamic Planner has enabled us to achieve the desired process and as a result we’ve really bought into the software as a firm. Using it, we have now completed a full sweep and have a compliant review completed for every client.

Enabling collaboration across teams at your firm

Previously, client reviews would have consisted of a meeting, either face-to-face or over the telephone, and a follow-up email or letter. All those letters and review processes were very individual to the adviser, which meant that it was very hard to train an admin team centrally to support advisers in delivering the individual processes.

Using Dynamic Planner, it is possible for advisers to complete all reviews themselves or ask for help from Admin, who, in that instance, can produce the main part of the report before an adviser amends them, where necessary.

Working in that framework makes process easier and, from a compliance perspective, we know reviews are covering everything necessary. It stops us having, in our case, 11 different processes for 11 different advisers, which is difficult to monitor compliance-wise. In addition, advisers then across the firm are more inclined to buy-in to adopting it, because they can see the help they can get from our admin team.

‘Easy to use. Doesn’t require a huge amount of training’

Introducing change always has its challenges and if you try to introduce too much you can get less buy-in. At any firm, you will always get early adopters of something new and others who will follow at the end. But once you have introduced change and people become used to a new process, it no longer becomes an issue. Dynamic Planner is easy to use and it doesn’t require a huge amount of training, because it is so user friendly.

We have had good feedback from our clients to the review packs we have put together for them using Dynamic Planner. That’s really good, as a firm, to know. Again, as advisers hear that, they become more bought in to what you’re trying to achieve through the adoption of technology. The feedback we have had from clients say the reports are very clear and easy to understand. The language used in the reports is not opaque or confusing – and is clearly set out.

As a firm, you have to accept that you can produce beautiful reports for clients and they simply won’t read them, but, using Dynamic Planner, comments we have received show that they like the format and that reports are informative and clear. Things like charges, for example, are not hidden. You worry as a firm about being compliant, but by being compliant and by using technology like Dynamic Planner, you provide a good service and quickly build trust.

Also, for clients who are more difficult to get hold of and to speak to, it demonstrates that you’re still providing them with all the information they need in a broader framework you have in place.

Case Study

Skerritts Chartered Financial Planners


Clare Edes

“Ultimately, Dynamic Planner helps you easily demonstrate, compliance-wise to the FCA that, as a firm, you have a framework in place for risk profiling clients and that those questions are being asked. It shows you have a consistent approach.”

Clare EdesCompliance Manager

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