What Can Investment Platforms Learn From Schoolkids?

Antony Kelsey
May 16, 2018

During the recent May bank holiday weekend, while spending time with the family and helping my daughters tackle their homework, we ended up discussing the 6 Rs that children learn as they progress through primary school. You remember them, don’t you?!

My eldest, now at secondary school and keen to get one over on her younger sister, quickly rattled them off:

  1. Readiness
  2. Resourcefulness
  3. Reflectiveness
  4. Relationships
  5. Resilience
  6. Respectfulness

As we chatted through what they all meant, it struck me how the same 6 Rs completely relate to my own ‘grown-up’ world of business, and in particular, to investment platforms. So if you are a client, adviser, or wealth manager looking for an offshore investment platform, then remember your 6 Rs:

  1. Readiness: Is your platform fit for purpose and ready to deliver what you need? Are you able to easily onboard clients? Can you access all the investments you need, or get information online? If your platform cannot do the basics, then it has failed the test at the first hurdle!
  2. Resourcefulness: Is your platform provider equipped to deliver all the resources you need? Is it in the right locations? Does it have a great leadership team to deliver exceptional results year in and year out? Does it have the right systems to secure your client data, but also share it as required? Crucially, is it profitable and, does it have the financial resources to improve continually?
  3. Reflectiveness: Do your platforms take time to understand your needs? Do they stand still, or are they looking to enhance and expand their proposition? Do they reflect on what is going on in their marketplace, and how they can best align with partners to grow stronger together?
  4. Relationships: Are your platforms one-dimensional, or do they develop relationships with other companies and providers to strengthen the client experience?
  5. Resilience: In the modern world of fast-paced change, can your platform withstand the economic tough times as well as the good? Can it cope with regulatory and legal headwinds? How does it take advantage of technological advancements, and can it deal with potentially destructive cyber-security pressures?
  6. Respectfulness: Last but by no means least, how does your platform approach and treat its clients? Are they simply a number, or are they a person? Does your platform respect you by delivering on the promises you make?

I believe the platform proposition at Capital International Group ticks all the theoretical 6 Rs. Here are some quick practical reasons why:

  1. Clients, advisers, and wealth managers use our platform worldwide because it delivers the basics! Our platform is ready, offering open-architecture investment options, and a straightforward online portal with uploaded reporting. In addition, we provide easy onboarding, without the need for hard-copy documents.
  2. Our platform has a proven record of accomplishment, with a head office in the leading international jurisdiction of the Isle of Man, as well as a local office in Cape Town, South Africa. Strongly profitable, the platform has attracted a talented leadership team and has invested its resources to build in-depth strength in its front, middle and back offices. As a result, it is in a strong position to flex its resources in the most effective way without a heavy reliance on outsourcing.
  3. Our platform team are continuously communicating with our clients and partners to understand their ongoing requirements. We regularly reflect on our strategy to help enhance our proposition. This is why we are currently building a fully-digital onboarding process, as well as working to evolve our treasury business into a bank in order to allow us to offer some of our platform clients banking and leverage alongside their investment portfolio.
  4. We recognise our core skills, which is why we forge relationships with other platforms to serve other client segments. We work with trustees, pension providers and life companies so that we can deliver additional products alongside our core platform. We also recognise the benefits of choice, and therefore collaborate with third-party discretionary investment managers to sit alongside our own proposition.
  5. Resilience sometimes seems the hardest ‘R’ when you are in the midst of dealing with a new challenge (think FATCA, CRS and GDPR)! However, as a business that has been running over twenty years, and is currently in the middle of building exciting plans that will position the business well for scalable growth over the coming years, you have to demonstrate resilience along the way!
  6. We pride ourselves on our customer service and the way in which we strive to make all associated processes as simple as possible for advisers, wealth managers and their clients. We endeavour to meet our promises 100% of the time, but hope our clients judge us more on the way we deal with things on the rare occasion that we do not. It is all about respect!

So, while the 6 Rs may have taken you back to your childhood, I hope this demonstrates how they can apply to your life right now.

Oh, and if you need some help with offshore investment platforms, do get in touch via our contact page!

Antony Kelsey
Head of Business Development

Disclaimer: The views thoughts and opinions expressed within this article are those of the author, and not those of any company within the Capital International Group (CIG) and as such are neither given nor endorsed by CIG. Information in this article does not constitute investment advice or an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of any company within the Capital International Group of companies to buy or sell any product or security.

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