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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a630350

Allianz looks to develop suitability software as regulatory costs bite

by Annabelle Williams on Nov 05, 2012 at 07:47

Allianz looks to develop suitability software as regulatory costs bite

Allianz Global Investors is looking at creating suitability software for remote risk profiling as increasing costs make it harder for wealth managers and advisers to service clients with lower levels of assets.

Allianz managing director Nick Smith told Wealth Manager the company had been speaking to other companies about developing technology allowing some aspects of suitability profiling to be handled remotely.

This would lessen the amount of time a wealth manager or adviser must spend face to face with clients, lowering costs for those with smaller amounts of investible assets.

‘It might be possible to have clients self-profile using remote tools and then send it to advisers, who would recommend products. We are not saying advice should not happen face to face,’ Smith said, adding that there are some ‘innovative’ tools available that could help cut down time spent on more rudimentary aspects of risk profiling. 

The funds group is anticipating an ‘advice gap’ to open in the post-retail distribution review (RDR) market, with many clients unable to access advice or investment services as the cost of servicing them would be too high.

Allianz recently published research that showed two-thirds of advisers believed it would not be profitable to service clients with less than £50,000 in liquid assets. Wealth managers are facing similar strain in terms of the time and cost of providing a full service to smaller clients.

Smith said the tool would be most useful for clients on the cusp of having sufficient assets to access advice and investment services, and added it was likely Allianz would be a financial backer of an external company looking to create the software.

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