For some inexplicable reason, the term benchmark or benchmarking rarely appears in reference to investor suitability. This is despite its universal use by fund managers for fund performance indices.
Benchmarking is an essential aid to any business and is closely aligned with best practice. It is just as often called Best Practice Benchmarking or Process Benchmarking.
Benchmarking and Best Practice are at the heart of Harbour. From the outset, Harbour was designed with powerful in-built capability that far outstrips ATR tools – benchmarking was just one of a number of such useful features.
At least four times a year, we publish analysis of Harbour’s usage data and these benchmarks are circulated freely to Harbour’s users. Not only do we publish profile distribution, but we also publish such data as: override use by category, percentages of clients in accumulation vs de-accumulation as well as analysis of client suitability profiles by age distribution and invested amount.
Using Harbour’s published analysis, business owners are able to compare their suitability data with these benchmarks.
Why is this useful?
Firstly, these benchmarks help both Harbour and user firms. We can validate at a glance regularly that Harbour’s questionnaire and process is robust, that clients are assessed accurately, that the overrides are appropriate to the client needs and the correlation between client ages, investment amounts and their suitability profile is clearly illustrated. And because this data is dynamically captured within the questionnaire process, the result is a solution that delivers investor suitability process benchmarking as a background activity without and effort by advisers, paraplanners or compliance staff.
It is a feature that is greatly valued by compliance managers and business owners, particularly those running multi-adviser firms because it offers an unrivalled insight into process consistency and behaviour. No ATR tool has this in-built power.
Be both amazed and in fantastic company
If your financial planning firm is in the top quartile judged by culture and professionalism, then you’ll be amazed at Harbour’s capability and potential for reductions in management effort as well as the removal of commercial and regulatory risk.
You only have to look at the type of financial planning firms with whom we work closely. Harbour’s users operate at the top of the financial planning profession – they embody the culture and professionalism where Harbour has the greatest appeal. They are as far from having a tick-box culture as one can get.