About FiveWays Financial Planning
FiveWays Financial Planning’s name reflects the five core fields of financial planning: saving, borrowing, protection, investment and taxation. FiveWays Financial Planning was formed in 2012 by a collection of experienced Advisers; whose different backgrounds and skills enabled them to design an advisory business operating at the highest standards. They offer services to individuals, trustees and business owners at a reasonable cost. Bolstered by its relationship with several local solicitors, it is able to provide guidance on trusts and inheritance tax planning.
Note from Chris Gilchrist, Director, FiveWays Financial Planning
“After reviewing a significant number of DFM solutions, Parmenion was the one that we knew could provide us with the greatest efficiency gain for our business. It was also the most cost effective, so the cost and time savings within the business have been significant. Parmenion offers a great level of service and the technology is intuitive and easy to use. We have never had any errors with Parmenion either, which provides us with great confidence and peace of mind.”
What business challenges were you facing when you considered Parmenion as a partner?
Our biggest challenge was working out how to deliver a good quality investment service efficiently and at a reasonable cost. The model portfolios we were running on wraps previously were not an efficient solution in terms of Adviser and administration time. We were aware of that and wanted to find a solution that dealt with those problems. The Appointed Investment Adviser (AIA) arrangement we have with Parmenion has cut down the time Advisers spend on administration and dealing with portfolios. The AIA relationship we have provides us with entire control of the solutions, so there is no mismatch between clients’ expectations and reality.
What has been the impact on your operational processes?
Implementing the service was part of the process of re-engineering our business, which affected the whole end-to-end advice process. The significance is that the service fits very easily and neatly into an advice process, which helps overall efficiency.
How has Parmenion supported the development of your business?
Very positively. The engagement we had with Parmenion on the investment side of things as we moved towards the AIA solution was excellent. Parmenion helped us to calibrate our investment offering and refine it where necessary. They were helpful in statistical back-testing on the service and in terms of implementation and training staff. The Parmenion service is first class and surprisingly quick and easy because the technology is very good. Our staff universally say that they prefer creating portfolios on the Parmenion platform to using those of other providers. There has been a big efficiency gain for our business too. With Parmenion, we are minimising wasted time previously spent on administration.
What client feedback have you received in relation to the Parmenion service?
Internally we are 100% happy. It is easy to learn and user friendly. There has not been much feedback from clients but that’s a good thing. We only tend to hear when something goes wrong. Error rates, for example on income payments, take forever to get right again and are a huge drag on an Adviser business. So far, there have been no errors with the Parmenion portfolios in just over a year.
What future opportunities do you expect to explore as part of your relationship with Parmenion?
Possibly the Interact tool, which we are actively considering. We think Interact will potentially open up opportunities with a different client base, who we wouldn’t be able to engage with under our current structure. It would be an entry-level service.
As a supporting firm, what propositional developments would you most like to see from Parmenion?
Having a wider range of asset classes that we can own within the portfolios would be helpful. The latest trends in the US are about tailoring clients’ investment journeys and we hope to see more of that built into the Parmenion platform.
How has Parmenion helped you to secure your business objectives?
It has enabled us to define our core investment offering for our straightforward investment clients, who are a major part of our business. We can offer a high quality investment solution, at a very reasonable cost and deliver it on a large scale without a lot of administrators. It is core to our job of building scale within our business, without having to increase our administration personnel.
How have you adopted Parmenion in relation to other platforms and/or DFM solutions?
We reviewed an awful lot of other DFM solutions, 15-20, and the Parmenion AIA is simply more efficient and cost effective than the vast majority we have looked at.
How have you been able to develop your proposition as a result of partnering with Parmenion?
With Parmenion’s technology, we are able to offer access to our investment solutions for portfolios from £50,000 upwards. This simply wouldn’t be cost effective with more cumbersome technology. It would take more time to implement and we would be losing money.
How would you summarise the benefits of delivering an investment proposition powered by Parmenion?
We now know that our investment proposition lines up perfectly with our risk profiling and that we can adjust portfolios quickly and efficiently when we need to do so.