The Model Office Blog

Really want to move your back office technology?

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 8, 2018 2:22:03 PM / by Chris Davies

Open-heart surgery is something one would want to avoid where our own health is concerned. Yet in businesses we seem to be witnessing such when it comes to established firms moving their businesses between technology providers.

The recent ‘re-platforming’ challenges experienced by market participants such as Aviva (Bravura to FNZ) Old Mutual (IFDS to FNZ) AEGON (Cofunds to ARC) showcase pain thresholds can be severe and, as the indomitable Lang Cat consultancy says, this causes disruption across platform assets and adviser client relationships if left to chance.

Where practice management technology (back office) is concerned, we also need to be wary of risks associated with moving to a new provider if deemed necessary. There is a lot of market noise surrounding the big 3, Intelliflo, IRESS and CURO and how they are vying for market domination.

At Model Office our RegTech ‘Your Systems’ key focuses on how well firms utilise their back office technology and as the most important issue is the firm at its clients, we thought it would be helpful to outline our top tips if you are considering moving to a new back office provider:

  1. Assess how you currently use your existing platform against its capabilities: This can save you a lot of time and effort as the existing platform could actually still be the right solution for you based on:
    • All staff underusing the full features and benefits
    • Lack of uniformity of usage across the business
    • Misalignment with both business and client needs
If this is the case, then you may want to employ a third party consultancy (a good place to start is FTRC) or revisit your existing providers training resources to work through    streamlining the systems usage and aligning with business and client needs
  1. Front Office configuration: Is your system used uniformly and does it deliver value across:
    • Client management: On-boarding and maintenance, relationship management across client contact history, event workflows, document management, email/calendar integration, transfers, withdrawals, communication recording, journals, Suitability reports, KYC and AML requirements
    • Portfolio and account management: Tax wrappers (ISAs, JISAs, SIPPS) Performance (Attribution, Daily weighted) CGT, Modelling/rebalancing/switching, monitoring, document management, research, corporate actions
    • Order management: For client money and wealth management functionality across dealing interfaces, auto dealing, compliance monitoring and authorising
  2. Back Office configuration: What opportunities or challenges does your system provide against:
    • Operations and Audit: Accounts, Payments, Fees and charges, Corporate actions (if any) Third party integration (STP, Platforms, Funds) Valuations
    • Compliance: CGT, Tax Wrappers, HMRC reporting, AML, KYC, PEP-Sanctions checks, Data Quality, Advice Suitability, Client communication recording, Cyber-security
    • Management: Client portfolio and data management, workflow and lifecycles across tasks, document, diary and email management
  3. Create a middle office: This means ensuring your practice management technology can integrate with third party technologies through application programming interface (API) and provide a dashboard across all the key required functions and ensure quality management information (MI) is delivered at all times.
  4. Finally align all this with your business plan and ensure that your existing practice management or proposed new offering aligns with your business, client and regulators needs

One suggestion would be to run the above as a diagnostic across existing and new technologies and incorporate our template questionnaire below. This will ensure you’re asking the right questions and gaining as much quality MI through comprehensive research and due diligence so you avoid a corporate cardiac arrest and most importantly business confidence and client trust is maintained.


Client management

Business management

Admin & Sales support


What are the top 10 areas that are working well?





What are the top 10 areas that need improvement?





What are the top 10 highly desirable solutions you ideally need?





Where can time saving & operation efficiencies be made?





Do all support staff know all systems functions?





Does everyone use the system in the same way/any double tasking?





What activity/functions could be culled?





How can advisers work better & improve efficiencies?





What are staff training needs?





How are 3rd party technologies dovetailing & any problems?





How well are the workflows syncing with diary/client & business management?





What improvements would you need for admin tasks?





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Topics: Financial regulation, Financial business development, fintech, regtech, Risk management, practice management, FCA, advice, HMT, suitability, FAWG, FAMR, MiFIDII, Data, GDPR, Chatbot, Culture, Enforcement, audit, Conduct, AI, Risk,, Accountability, Platforms, PROD, Product governance, Modeldrivenmachineexecutablerporting, digital,, Regulatory, Reporting, IDD, backoffice

Chris Davies

Written by Chris Davies

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