7IM and Vanguard Set to Enter the D2C Space
Seven Investment Management (7IM) is set to go up against private banks with a new platform, which will allow individuals to make whole-of-market investments, but with the guidance of a financial adviser.
Following RDR there has been an increase in the number of DIY investors but 7IM research suggests the choice facing many is not as binary as ‘advised’ or ‘ non-advised’; it believes many people are willing and able to take charge of their finances on a basic level but require advice for more important decisions.
Whilst their adviser may agree to let the client fill their annual subscription to an ISA online, they may step in when dealing with larger sums, such as in the case of an inheritance.
‘We are trying to allow the IFA not only to segment their book into clients that they deal with face to face and clients that they deal with remotely, but also to allow the client to do either,’ said 7IM chief executive officer Tom Sheridan.
‘The IFA can decide client by client who has the authority. The default option would be a 7IM portfolio, but the platform will be whole-of-market.’
‘This is not a direct competitor to the likes of Hargreaves Lansdown’
7IM has also updated its app with a new tool, My Future, which allows investors to forecast their own pension pots, in the hope that they will eventually turn to professionals for help.
‘We are a higher net-worth business. Our average platform client is investing more than £250,000 and our average discretionary client £750,000, so our market is at the bottom end of the private banks,’ said Sheridan.
‘This is not a direct competitor to the likes of Hargreaves Lansdown, but it is for private banks. It is a new use of digital technology. The tool is MyFuture, the app is 7imagine, and the service is 7IM.’
Asset manager Vanguard’s new D2C digital proposition will be aimed at self-directed investors similar to the one it hosts in the US.
‘new D2C digital proposition will be aimed at self-directed investors’
The firm does not anticipate going head to head with wealth managers, who it believes look after a different segment of the market.
‘The natural evolution is that at the appropriate point in a client’s life they then get financial advice,’ said managing director for Vanguard Europe John James.
Patrick Connolly, certified financial planner at Chase de Vere, said: ‘There has been a lot of ongoing change both in the advice and investment worlds. Companies are deciding on what is the best proposition for themselves going forward. We will no doubt see more asset managers looking at direct-to-consumer propositions, and advice firms looking at different ways to promote their services. However, our position at Chase de Vere is that our product is independent financial advice, so we will not be going down this path’