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A January update from our CEO

Martin Jennings headshot

For financial professionals only

2020 was a challenging year from every possible perspective and I’m extremely proud of the way Parmenion responded. While we’ve all had to adapt to a new way of living and working, our mantra of delivering great products and excellent service for adviser firms is as strong as ever.

Here are just a few highlights from the past year, and some things you can look forward to in the coming weeks and months.

Continuing to deliver first class service

Throughout 2020, our Client Services team answered 93% of calls in 20 seconds or less, while handling record volumes of email and live chat queries.

We had our biggest ever month of inbound calls and live chats in March – the combination of tax year end and our first COVID response proving a busy time for everyone.   ­

I’m particularly proud of the fact that around 95% of your calls are ‘one and done’ – in other words, your queries are being answered or resolved on the spot.

That’s not to say we haven’t faced some challenges, but with our service levels reported weekly and monitored daily, we can react fast and bring in additional support when needed. We’re currently recruiting more staff into the team and are totally committed to maintaining our market-leading service levels to help you deliver an outstanding service to your clients.

More options for improved efficiency

In the first lockdown, we moved swiftly to accept scanned applications while accelerating our work to introduce a digital signatures option. More and more of our customers are now using digital signing and benefiting from a secure, streamlined process that makes life easier for them and their clients.

From 1st February we’ll introduce the option to make transfers in specie where appropriate, in line with the FCA’s new Making Transfers Simpler rules. Again, this is all about making life easier and more efficient for you, while helping you achieve the best possible outcomes for your clients.

New SIPP drawdown capability

You’ve told us that our SIPP drawdown functionality could be improved and in response we’re working on a number of developments. The team are currently testing new functionality to manage the transition from accumulation to decumulation with Parmenion. We’re focused on making those processes easier for everyone and feedback so far is extremely positive. More news on this to come.

Improved reporting and management information

Following a highly successful pilot, we’ll launch Vantage, our new reporting service for adviser firms in February. Described as ‘phenomenal’ by some of our early testers, Vantage will give you access to management information and business intelligence in a simple, intuitive dashboard.

With clearly presented data and insight, you can identify opportunities to improve efficiency, see the risks and opportunities facing your business, use the data to support your PROD requirements and make informed decisions on your future growth.

VAT on model portfolios

It’s no secret that many DFM competitors have stopped charging VAT on their model portfolio services so it won’t surprise you to learn that we’ve reviewed our position. We’re currently waiting for a response from HMRC, but we hope to be able to stop charging VAT on our model portfolio services soon. We will update you on this more formally in the next few weeks.

Keeping in touch with you

Alongside our fortnightly Adviser Insight, we hosted 25 webinars throughout 2020 to bring you the latest market updates from our Investment Management team, news of how we were responding to the Covid situation, and a focus on retirement with our Let’s Talk Retirement series. Our 6-weekly updates from PIM will continue into 2021, and please look out for me making an appearance on the Lang Cat’s Home Games in the coming weeks.

Some things change, some stay the same

While 2021 will bring a change of ownership for Parmenion, our focus will remain on growing our business by helping you grow yours through our signature combination of ever-improving platform technology, award-winning investment management and outstanding service.

I’m extremely proud of the team and their continued efforts to deliver improvements in the areas you tell us are important. We’ll continue to build our functionality and support services in a way that delivers value – both to you and to your clients.

I look forward to bringing you more news about our future plans in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I wish you all the very best for the year ahead.

Martin