Personal Touch Financial Services


Personal Touch Financial Services (PTFS) is one of the largest Financial Service Networks in the UK with over 2100 Financial Advisors nationally offering independent advice tailored to individual investors’ needs. PTFS provides a complete financial services package with access to exclusive and competitive products from the marketplace.

PTFS was established in 1994 and offers to its members a diversified product range including GI, Mortgage, investments, Pensions, protection to PMI and equity release.  PTFS also provides ancillary compliance, training and marketing services that support the Directly Authorised financial services community. Partnership, Trust, Honest Relationships, Good Value and Service have become cornerstones and key values of its business relationships.

In recent years PTFS have won several industry awards, for best mortgage proposition, best IFA network, and business leaders of the year. PTFS has also appeared in the Sunday Times fastest growing companies list for the last 3 years. PTFS believes the key to growth is to help and support the growth of its members, by providing the support and framework, while its partners have the independence and autonomy to run and grow their financial services business, building a capital asset of their own. For more information visit the PTFS website here.

Requirement

PTFS had begun an ambitious project to create a new web-enabled customer engagement and planning system to support its partners. It was their intention to implement an existing customer risk profiler. In January 2011 the FSA issued relevant guidance and PTFS asked Oxford Risk to determine whether the new profiler would meet the guidance and be fit for purpose. The profiler was found to conflate Risk Tolerance and Risk Capacity, and be deficient in a number of other respects. As a consequence Oxford Risk were asked to propose alternatives that would satisfy the FSA Guidance.

Solution

Oxford Risk provided a number of key elements including an ‘off-the shelf’ 15-question Risk Tolerance assessment together with its scoring methodology. We also mapped and calibrated the assessment to the PTFS specified investor categories and provided compliant descriptions of the investor characteristics of the scored bands. In this respect we worked closely with PTFS’s investment solutions advisors, RSM, to ensure customer profiles connected with appropriate investments.

In respect of Risk Capacity, Oxford Risk provided advice as to the type and nature of questions that should be embedded in the fact-find and planning processes to elicit the necessary customer information. Oxford Risk also provided expertise to help PTFS ensure there were no conflicts or gaps in the information gathering, and that the presentation of information to both IFAs and their clients was clear and unambiguous. We also reviewed the engagement process to determine that the information gathered was likely to lead to the recommendation of appropriate investments.

Benefits

PTFS and its members have used the new Risk Tolerance assessment extensively. They find it is clear and unambiguous, and easy for their clients to complete. They also find their clients readily understand their results and the impact they have on the recommendations. The new assessment, together with the improved systems and processes, has made the customer engagement more straightforward and more informative. As a consequence PTFS believes its members are providing more suitable advice to clients who are more satisfied with their IFA relationships.