Sandringham Financial Partners are a national financial advice firm and a UK market leader in the provision of tailored independent financial advice. Founded in 2012 and now part of M&G Wealth, their mission is to deliver the best outcomes for their personal and corporate clients, achieved through implementing the ‘Sandringham Way’.
The ‘Sandringham Way’ is the term used to describe their four-stage financial planning process, designed to help their advisers fully understand what a client needs, and find the best way to achieve it.
What was achieved
A consistent financial planning process delivered by integrated best-of-breed technology
Greater client engagement and Consumer Duty compliant communication enabled by secure messaging
The client's financial situation brought to life and meaningful conversations about the future facilitated through highly visual financial plans
Bank level security providing peace of mind when gathering and storing client data
The result is a seamless and secure financial planning process that helps provide the best client outcomes and delivers the 'Sandringham Way' consistently
Sandringham had not yet adopted a digital solution that captured client information more efficiently, and then fed it into other key pieces of technology – something which grew in importance with Consumer Duty approaching. They also believed the right technology could improve client engagement throughout the entire financial planning process as well as documenting a clear audit trail and highlighting the value of advice being given.
Across the business, paraplanners and financial advisers were already using FE CashCalc for cashflow modelling. But it was upon the launch of the new client onboarding functionality - FE Onboard, that they decided to look further into the benefits of fully adopting the software into their financial planning process, and subsequently offering it as standard to all Sandringham Advising Partners from the start of January 2022 as part of their core technology solution.
Assembling best-of-breed technology
Sandringham believe a fundamental key to achieving a great financial planning process is by using technology. Their aim is to therefore identify and adopt the right technology, before working towards linking them all together.
At the time, the way their advisers obtained both personal and financial information about their clients lacked an efficient digital approach, with various methods including paper-based fact finds still being used.
By adopting the use of the FE Onboard digital fact find, document exchange and secure messaging functionality, Sandringham was able to create improved consistency in the way their advisers obtain information and communicate with clients. Plus, the digital approach streamlined their overall onboarding process and significantly reduced the need to manually key client information.
The integration with the back-office Enable, plus the in-house integration with the cashflow modeller, allowed Sandringham advisers to seamlessly export the information they obtain from their clients straight into these other tools. This reduced risk in manually re-keying and improved overall efficiency.
The software’s ability to integrate also opened up an opportunity for Sandringham to bring together technology. For example, they use iPipeline’s PreQuo service to help judge what protection their clients may need. This service was integrated into the digital fact find, enabling them to engage with their clients about protection during the onboarding process.
In addition, Sandringham use identity verification system Credas. FE Onboard’s existing integration with Credas allows a full AML check to be conducted remotely with clients via a secure Portal, further streamlining the ‘know your client’ process.
Improving client engagement
Sandringham recognised that the FE Onboard secure Portal is specifically designed to help facilitate higher levels of client engagement throughout an entire financial planning process. It allows both adviser and client to instantly communicate with each other, securely share documents, and quickly amend cashflow plans to reflect any changes to a financial situation.
These touch points enabled Sandringham to really engage the client in the financial planning process. The cashflow modeller also meant they could bring a client’s financial situation to life and help demonstrate how they can achieve their life goals.
The clear financial plans created by the FE CashCalc software, when combined with ‘what-if’ scenarios, allowed Sandringham to engage their clients to start thinking about the decisions they needed to make. The Stress Testing feature also helped engage their clients’ to start thinking about the unexpected. For example, what would happen in the event of another market crash or if an income unexpectedly stopped?
Sandringham see cashflow as a fundamental part of all decumulation advice so enabling access to all Advising Partners and creating clear processes and guidance around the creation of long term sustainable planning helps achieve greater client understanding in this critical stage of financial planning.
Ensuring security and compliance
When selecting technology, security is a top consideration for Sandringham. They want to ensure best practices and standards are being applied at every level to ensure their clients’ data is both safe and secure.
FE CashCalc has always taken a security first approach, and has built security into the heart of the product. For example, all information within FE CashCalc is encrypted using AES-256 encryption – the most secure encryption algorithm available today.
Additionally, and to ensure client data remains secure, all of our 3rd party integrations require a secure OAuth2 flow in order to set up an integration and uses an encrypted TLS connection. To summarise, the methods used are bank-grade security.
One area that Sandringham wanted to develop was to be able to control and track what assumptions and benchmarks are used within any cashflow plans their advisers created. FE fundinfo committed to working with Sandringham and their compliance team to help them achieve their ongoing aspiration to create efficient, low risk compliance processes that make the best use of technology to create great client outcomes.
Embedding the ‘Sandringham Way’
Today, FE CashCalc is central to the ‘Sandringham Way’. Not only was it made available for all of their advisers, but is viewed as the key tool within the financial planning process.
The intuitive nature of FE CashCalc also made it an easy tool to implement throughout their firm. However, to help ensure their advisers got the most out of the product, the FE fundinfo team provided dedicated on-site training sessions.
Sandringham are also starting to adopt investment research tool FE Analytics into their tech stack. Using both products together means they have access to the two leading technology providers and, thanks to an integration between the two, ensure the financial plans their advisers create are much more accurate and realistic to their clients specific situations.