We must be going up in the world: we were invited into the FCA ivory towers before Christmas ’15 to engage in a day’s workshop on their Regulatory Sandbox initiative. We found the day actually very interesting and, although not a new concept (the pharmaceutical industry have used them for years) the Sandbox was innovative in providing a defined solution for firms wanting to explore their new product or services regulatory challenges in a safe haven.
The Sandbox options for restricted authorisation, a no enforcement letter, individual guidance, and waivers means that market participants can genuinely play in the regulatory sands relatively unimpeded and receive good regulatory guidance. We had an idea which had been brewing for some time…an online diagnostic platform and test that regulated retail service firms could take on an on-going basis to assess how they are going against the rules and also against their peers and industry best practice.
‘Great idea’ said the FCA, ‘but’ (always a but) ‘We can’t be seen to be prescriptive’. That old chestnut.. So it was over the festive holidays, whilst chewing on our chestnuts, that we put our thinking caps on and designed and developed Model Office – MO
MO is an evolutionary, FinTech concept that is designed to benchmark and aid financial service firm’s journey to a truly digital and professional practice. Based on our 5-year research into wealth management, adviser, planner and bank business model and compliance development. MO’s platform provides the ability to take a snapshot of current business performance and design, implement and monitor a more streamlined, compliant and profitable strategy focused on firm goals, client needs and regulatory requirements.
This means firms can assess their professional development against RDR, MiFID I & II, FAMR and BREXIT risks and benchmark against their peers and market best practice all in one place.
FinTech meets RegTech: Our research shows, the digital evolution of the industry has brought both opportunity and challenges. MO diagnostically assesses the business management and compliance development across 5 key areas that our research has found are crucial to building a regulatory compliant, digitally engaged professional services firm:
- Your Focus: Strategy and risk management
- Your Engagement: Client and stakeholder engagement
- Your Promise: Client service proposition
- Your Systems: Operations and service supports
- Your People: Human resource development
Unlike the FCA, MO adopts a more prescriptive approach: so firms can understand how well they are performing and what needs to be done to ensure regulatory compliance and competitive advantage.
Success by design: We all know that it’s just as important to spend time on the business as it is in the business. Yet time is a scarce commodity in modern business management. MO is designed to benchmark current practice against best practice in the market incorporating our longitudinal research, regulatory papers and directives such as the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) and MiFID II and now will assess BREXIT risks. MO provides a performance dashboard with a radar chart, individual scores matched against peers and a benchmark across the 5 keys and online steers and a downloadable 41 page strategic plan to provide strategies on improving scores. A downloadable’ lite’ version of this report is also available.
Our research shows that whilst good work has been conducted across individual professional development, there is still more to be done on firms’ digital and professional service journeys. We have found it is those firms who integrate holistic strategic planning and digital design, incorporating both regulatory directives and client needs across the business, who develop true client-centric and professional services.
We have included business practice technology, compliance, PI and M&A professionals in MO’s development thus far and have structured a professional panel to sit behind the platform to provide guidance to those who need it. Indeed MO will have the facility to ‘plug and play’ with back office technology to provide tailored Management Information on risk, client engagement, people development and corporate governance
A digital client experience framework: The firms that are profitable and maintain a competitive advantage are those who are now streamlining their proposition and engaging their clients digitally as well as through traditional means.
MO helps focus firm’s propositions, allowing them to become more efficient and effective by ensuring engaged employees and clients.
MO ensures that professional development incorporates the new digital evolution and firm’s remain competitive and compliant. We’ve all heard the market noise about ‘disrupter tools’. MO ensures firm’s become the disrupter and helps them to thrive (not just survive) in building a sustainable professional practice.
What next?: MO has been Beta tested over the past few months and will be launched shortly as a subscription based platform at a competitive price to allow all firms access to its business development and compliance diagnostic capabilities. We’d love to hear from you so for more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org