A former Lisbon based financial adviser, Jose Supico, observed that continental European financial advice lacked independence and basically came down to a sales transaction with a bank.
“I wasn’t comfortable with this way of doing business,” Supico says, and by 2015, after years of frustration with the old-school systems available to advisers and clients he spotted an opportunity and moved to London to launch Advicefront, a digital solution that aids the communication between the client and the adviser.
“I figured out that there should be a better way of giving financial advice, as I had had to turn down friends and family requests as it was so much work to produce regulated advice.”
Supico observed that the world was changing very quickly with the rise of digital solutions throughout people’s lives, from Facebook to Uber to Spotify.
“I could see there would be a digital revolution in the advice space so I decided to do it myself.”
With venture capital backing, Supico launched Advicefront in the UK because it has the largest independent financial adviser community. His firm now has 10 in the team and is planning a substantial growth in those numbers this year. They have double digit client firms they work with who provide financial advice for thousands of clients.
“We offer a digital platform for financial advisers and their clients, a communications and collaboration platform based around advice with everything from onboarding to writing up the advice piece included, and then the ongoing review process. Everything we do is digital as it is a 10 times faster route to giving advice, getting rid of paper and rekeying in information.”
Last year was a big inflexion point for Advicefront, Supico says. “We saw a much bigger increase in firms seeking digital solutions and most of our competitors are now trying to create some sort of client portal.
“We have seen a big increase in the interest in combining digital solutions with human advice and we don’t believe robo-advice will work for the industry as there is always a question of combining the human relationship and trust that clients want to feel with the adviser with easier ways of doing business.”
Over the next year, Advicefront will be undertaking a project back in Europe.
“Our mission is to make advice available to everyone in the future so that we can bridge the advice gap,” Supico says.
“It’s our passion to allow families and individuals to have a secure financial future ahead of them.”