Focus Solutions, the leading UK provider of multi-channel distribution software to the global financial services industry, is pleased to announce the 2.6 release of focus:360°, their market-leading multi-channel distribution platform.
The 2.6 release builds on the rich capability that many significant distributor groups have already adopted to help prepare for a post RDR world. This development fully aligns with the feedback from our existing customer base and research from the Platforum in terms of what advisers are looking for from their practice management and wrap partners.
The new functionality includes support for wrap accounts, enabling the entire wrap structure to be managed within focus:360°. With this, as more wrap services provide interfaces into their platforms, an adviser can open and transact with multiple wrap accounts from within a rich holistic financial planning process without leaving focus:360°. This work has included fundamental changes to the investment process to combine all of the potential actions that may arise when completely reshaping a client's legacy portfolio, including new money, switching, transfers and re-registration in one easy process.
In addition, this complements the existing post sale servicing functionality that enables advisers to source instant valuations from their selected wrap partners, and legacy life & pension policies, producing high quality client servicing reports from one central place.
focus:360° has also been enhanced to support the new RDR charging structures within its remuneration module, and major enhancements have been made to the 'At Retirement' functionality to support one of the key high value advice areas moving forward.
Holly McKay, Managing Director of the Platforum commented: "Advisers tell us that integration with practice management systems is a key area for platforms to focus on to avoid re-keying data. With increasing competition from distributors assessing whether they build proprietary solutions, we think that the "next-generation" platforms need to crack this integration. It's a symbiotic relationship and we think the need is mutual - both platforms and software providers wiwill need to pull together to remain competitive and to do so in a commercially reasonable way."
Phil Young, Managing Director of Threesixty Services added: "As part of our project with Focus, it is really encouraging to see the enhancements the team have been making to better support platform integrations. We look forward to making a customised version available to our intermediary partners in 2012, overlaying our compliance services."
Commenting on the 2.6 release, Dave Upton, UK Managing Director of Focus Solutions said: "With advice overheads being squeezed and an ever increasing focus on client servicing post-RDR, it was critical we invest significantly in aligning front and back office processes in focus:360. This allows us to integrate a post-RDR advice model directly with the complex transaction options within leading wrap platforms. Many systems have continued to represent wrap accounts as traditional products and merely provide simple valuation support, but this limits the level of embedded trading that can be supported from within the advice process.
As the platforms open their doors to greater integration, this new release will pave the way to helping our clients and their advisers run more efficient businesses and enable the platforms to better service their customers."