Prestwood and Engage Insight kicked off their Business Consultancy roadshow in Bristol, explaining the lower cost proposition they are offering financial adviser firms looking to improve their business efficiencies and their service to clients without paying expensive consultancy fees.
Explaining the proposition, Julie Lord, Prestwood director, said it brought together Prestwood’s many years’ experience of the market and helping its users, with the analytical capability of Engage Insight’s Model Office system, to give smaller adviser firms an awareness of their businesses that they needed to improve their operations and their profitability.
“From the Prestwood end we want to show people that cashflow planning is not complicated and used effectively it can be fundamental to their business proposition, making them more profitable and their clients better engaged, which is where we all want to be.
“At the same time the Engage’s Model Office can help firms benchmark themselves either against similar business or their own measure for success, dealing with the compliance issues and helping them become professional practices.”
Engage director Chris Davies explained that Model Office works across five key business areas:
1. Focus: Strategy and risk management
2. Engagement: Client and stakeholder engagement
3. Promise: Client service proposition
4. Systems: Operations and service supports
5. People: Human resource development
“Model office provides a snapshot of current business performance and design, against which firms can plan to implement and monitor a more streamlined, compliant and profitable strategy, focused on their goals, client needs as well as regulatory requirements.
“It helps firms understand how well they are performing and what needs to be done to ensure regulatory compliance and competitive advantage.”
Lord continued: “Often business consultancy is blinding obvious common sense. What people need to know is where and how they can do things better. The Prestwood and Engage Insight software are not just pieces of kit but a means to bring awareness to businesses and to help them underpin their whole proposition.”
Neil Rossiter, director of Taunton-based Blackdown Financial, attended the first presentation. He said: “The main point for me was that this was a way smaller firms could become more robust in their business by bringing in services that advisers might see as outside their reach on a cost basis. It is difficult when you are a certain size because cost can become a barrier to what you can do.
“I tried out the Model Office diagnostic tool in relation to our business. I think most advisers probably know where their weaknesses are but seeing them on screen it brings it home.
“It shows you proposition and processes and so on, and for me it helped highlight that while we have a good proposition, where we could make improvements is in our processes. For a business to be successful you need to have all those things in place.
“Prestwood knows that the people using their software use it as the bedrock of their business, so they know where we are and where we are trying to go. As a result, and through the business experience of people like Julie Lord, they are naturally going to be au fait with the things that are going to be beneficial for us and how we should be moving forward.
Rossiter added: “As a business you’re always changing but it’s only when you look back on the business that you can see how far you’ve come. The purpose of this consultancy is to help you focus on the things that you can improve to continually make your business better. I think it’s something that is genuinely going to add value to our business.”
The consultancy will offer one to one as well as group consultancy sessions.
Prestwood is running three more roadshows in the coming months:
26 May Manchester: Macdonald Hotel, London Rd, Manchester M1 2PG
30 June Birmingham: Novotel, 70 Broad St B1 2HT
21 July London: venue to be confirmed.
These events are open to all planners, paraplanners and wealth managers, whether Prestwood users or not. All events are 10am-1pm with coffee and lunch.
Free places can be reserved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01384 273736.