We can offer advisers the support without the overheads of employing someone full-time, when they might not have full-time requirements. It’s flexible because advisers can use the service as much or as little as they choose. By outsourcing work, they can focus on fee-earning activities and reduce the unnecessary costs of employing full time staff. They only pay for the support they need and use.
The objective is to shield the adviser from as much admin as possible in order to free up their time, whilst keeping them closely informed on everything they need to know about. Every adviser is different. They all have different needs and want to work in different ways, which is absolutely fine. It’s a case of finding out what they want support with and what works best for them.
RK: What support would you provide for a typical adviser client?
DC: Most advisers ask for support on a regular basis, whilst others call when they have a project, or perhaps need expertise in a specific area. We allocate one PA/administrator to each adviser, who gets to know them, their business and how they like things done. Although we work remotely, we’ll integrate as one of the team.
The work we undertake can be from first point of contact for clients and product providers, through maintaining back office systems, pension transfer administration, running email marketing campaigns, to processing and monitoring new business to completion. Our aim is to absorb advisers’ non-advice related work, enabling them to spend more time concentrating on their clients.
We work across the adviser market, with independent and restricted advice firms, for small firms as well as advisers who are self-employed under a Network where they need to supply their own admin support.
We’re representing the adviser and their firm, and clients don’t need to know we’re an outsourced office. Calls can be answered in the adviser firm’s name, and we’ll issue correspondence on firm letter heading, using preferred type-font and layout requirements. Our team have direct dial phone numbers for advisers to contact and we can arrange for numbers with the adviser’s own area code, if required.
More: Virtual Office Support
We work on secure hosted desktops, and utilise cloud-based technology for file sharing. For staying in touch with the adviser we can also use Skype, FaceTime and web conferencing software. We’ll also learn any systems required in order to support the adviser’s business.
It is not unusual for adviser firms to outsource compliance, IT support, paraplanning, marketing, appointment making, etc. Why not also outsource admin and PA support, if they don’t need a full time person? If they need two hours a day, then it makes sense that’s all they pay for.
RK: How do you charge?
DC: We charge one flat hourly rate, and advisers simply pay for the time that their PA/administrator has been working for them, plus disbursements, such as postage. We keep it simple; so one hourly rate covers everything.
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