Technology

Tech Problems No Big Deal For Schroders Personal Wealth

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, 28 August 2019

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The new joint venture's technical problems - revealed in recent media coverage - are part and parcel of a new development. The operation is on track for its full launch later in 2019, it says.

Technical hitches at Schroders Personal Wealth, the financial planning venture, are a normal feature of a new system being put through tests and the JV is on track, it said yesterday, responding to press coverage.

A story in the Financial Times said the JV faced a large number of staff complaints about IT, with the head of internal resources forced to apologise to staff in an internal note about the Benchmark technology platform that powers the venture.

Schroders has pushed back at the FT report. "Schroders Personal Wealth, a new financial planning business for UK investors and savers, is making good progress and is on track for its full launch to the wider UK market later this year,” a spokesperson told WealthBriefing.

“It is working closely with its advisors as they transition to the new bespoke Benchmark platform. The new wealth platform will bring a number of benefits to clients including the ability to see all their investments in one place, online 24/7,” the spokesperson said. 

The JV has been formed by Schroders, the UK-listed investment firm, and Lloyds Banking Group. It is pitched at mass affluent and high net worth clients.

WealthBriefing understands that the JV is on course for its full launch to the market in the fourth quarter. It held its initial launch in June, transferring more than 500 employees into the JV; it has developed a bespoke version of the Benchmark platform which has been operational since July. Additionally, this publication understands that Schroders Personal Wealth intends to launch a new digital client service portal later in 2019.

(Editor’s note: From what this publication understands, the staff who have been transferred to the JV are testing out how effectively its tech platform works, which, given the prominence of the firms concerned, makes plenty of sense. It is refreshing that a business venture openly talks about technical hitches and how to fix them rather than trying to gloss them over. One suspects there are few wealth managers today, or indeed financial journalists (gulp!) who haven’t wrestled with tech headaches when a new venture gets under way.)

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