Chancellor Financial Management Limited recently published its Vision Statement containing details of our mission, our core value and who we help.
In a regular series of articles, we are now looking to expand on some of the points in more detail. In this edition we are looking at the fact that we pride ourselves on:
To some degree, Chancellor is like a duck on water. As far as our private and corporate clients are concerned, all is calm above the surface but below the surface there is plenty going on!
Over the course of the last twelve months or so we have been going through a massive project to move from one ‘back office system’ to another. In a nutshell, all our client records and data is stored on this system which contains many hundreds of clients and details of many thousands of different policies, investment products and pension plans. The previous system served us extremely well over many years and our Directors and Administrators had been familiar with this system when they worked for other companies before Chancellor was formed, so it was the obvious choice back in 2006. It became clear that the system provider was not going to continue to improve the product going forward, so it was time to “make the move”, so to speak. After holding a ‘beauty parade’ of different system providers we took the decision to move. The new software provider is well funded, large and “future proofed” and this was necessary as Information Technology lies at the heart of our future plans.
The benefit of the new system is that data is more easily processed and can change in line with future developments in the financial services industry. Chancellor’s Directors are also able to get much more detailed Management Information. Whilst all of this is probably what our clients would expect us to do, it does have many benefits as far as they are concerned as one of the cornerstones of the Chancellor business is the production of regular valuation reports for investment and pension products. Many of our clients have commented that the new ‘look’ and presentation of these reports is much better and the reports are easier to understand, whilst at the same time providing much more detailed information. The system can benefit from live feeds from Fund Management Groups and Product Providers which has speeded up the process, meaning more timely issue of the information with great accuracy. The new back office system (which has a 40% plus market share) can interact with other important pieces of our software, all of which serve to enhance our clients experience. The software is significantly more expensive than the previous version (partly to do with the fact that Chancellor’s team has expanded and the number of licences increased accordingly) but rather than passing this cost on to our clients, we are investing part of our profits as per our Vision Statement.
Whilst at the same time as putting the new back office system in, we have introduced other valuable options such as the MyChancellor Client Portal. Most clients now have access to a computer, a tablet or a smartphone. The client portal does facilitate completely secure email correspondence as it does require a password to login to access communications, but the system can also be used by our clients to send secure emails to Chancellor. Since its introduction, each of Chancellor’s advisers have registered themselves on the Portal for their own investments, so we now have a proven track record and are confident that this is the way forward for the future. As well as being able to access emails and documents, MyChancellor users have the added benefit of being able to access valuations of their policies, plans and investments that are via the Chancellor agency twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The system cuts down on paper and filing (and we even make a donation to a woodland charity for each client who signs up for the service).
Another recent innovation is that of a cash-flow modeller which each of our Chartered Financial Planners can use with our clients. We feel that this is extremely important part of financial planning software as it can, provided that the assumptions used are correct, give clients a valuable insight into the future. If, for example, someone is looking to withdraw an unrealistic amount from their investments, meaning that it is not sustainable into the future then this can be validated but it also useful where some is looking at the viability of being able to retire early.
Whilst this has required a great deal of expenditure on Chancellor’s part, this has not impacted on our clients fees as we have been prepared to reinvest and soak up the costs to enable us to retain more clients and become more attractive to new individuals and businesses.
In addition, we have also made improvements to the system that enables us to verify client’s identities in respect of the stringent anti-money laundering regulations as this can now be done electronically.
We are also aiming, in the near future, to introduce improvements to the system that independently monitors the performance of the Discretionary Fund Managers that are on our panel.
If you have any questions whatsoever about the technology or if you would like to sign up for our regular monthly E-News letter or obtain more details of the MyChancellor Client Portal, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.