Sue West is a Chartered Financial Planner and Director at Hastings O’Loughlin Chartered Financial Planners, as well as a Fellow of the PFS.
How long have you been using IBOSS?
It has been about seven to eight years now.
What services do you use?
We use both the Portfolio Management Service (PMS) and the OEIC Fund Range since its launch [in 2016]. We like the OEICs because they offer an alternative solution to the PMS, as we felt we were using Old Mutual Wealth too much.
What separates IBOSS from similar investment offerings on the market?
Just how focused they are on IFAs.
We feel they are very approachable, both coming into the office and contacting us on a regular basis. It is also a very personal relationship; we know who we are speaking to and what their thoughts are on various investment matters. They also listen to us and make us feel like individuals. It is a relationship you do not get with the larger propositions, where you are made to feel like just a number. Instead you feel like you’re an important part of the whole process.
What problems were you trying to solve by using the IBOSS services?
It was the difficulty of having to create bespoke portfolios for clients, and the need to review these and keep in touch with them all at the same time. It was becoming too unwieldly for us, and we didn’t want to put an in-house service in place as we felt we didn’t have the depth of knowledge or specific expertise to do this. Instead, we wanted to use a company we could work with that would provide these services on an outsourced basis.
Is it possible to identify the single largest benefit to you or your clients in your relationship with IBOSS?
The quarterly reviews and communications sent to clients on our behalf.
Gone are the days where clients will phone us up to ask what their policies are worth, because they now receive their valuations through on a regular basis. Along with fund changes and market summary documents, it gives clients a sense of being much more involved in the overall investment process.
What is the main reason why you would recommend us to a fellow financial adviser who was considering using IBOSS?
It is a way of looking after your clients without physically having to do all the work yourself on a quarterly basis. We also appreciate the knowledge that comes with it. They provide the reasons for all their investment choices and talk to us so we can understand what their thinking behind these decisions are. They also visit us at our offices and, on a couple of occasions, they have presented to our clients, which has gone down really well, with clients feeling more involved once again. You wouldn’t get that personal touch with larger propositions, where you are made to feel like just one of many.
How have your clients reacted overall?
On the whole, everyone has been happy with it. Most clients have become used to having to respond every three months, with the process generally being quite easy to complete. When it comes to the OEIC Fund Range, there is less involvement for a client, but the service fits a gap in the market for us, as we can access them on a number of different platforms.
What were the important factors when you were looking for an investment partner?
We were looking for an investment partner who shared the same philosophy on investing as us. They also needed to have the technology and the capacity to offer the same level of service to all our clients who required it. IBOSS ticked these boxes, allowing us to be more consistent in our investment approach and with the communications issued to clients.