1st unveils e-business strategy

At the conference, attended by over 500 adviser firms, executive chairman, Rory Curran, announced the launch of a new valuation and e-commission service as part of the new 1st Services hub. Developed using Microsoft .net technology, the new hub provides one-step access to valuations, bulk down-loads and real time data from over 30 external e-commission partners, providers and fund services.

Other key announcements made at the conference included advance information and demonstrations of new software and e-commerce services to be launched in the next 12 months:

- Adviser Office 4.0 – including streamlined commission accounting and enhanced fee and time reporting

(September 2005)

- Adviser Evolution – based on the latest .net technology, allows data to be synchronised in and out of the office

(November 2005)

- Business Intelligence – providing graphical displays of key business information and analysis to identify profitable business areas

- Compliance Centre – launching in Q1 2006

- A-Day Executive Retirement Planner – based on stochastic modelling

Mik Cons, managing director of 1st, explains more: “It’s all about having data available. Whether you are on a mountain or in the middle of the desert, you must have access to data. Using smart client technology, Adviser Evolution takes all the hard work out of the business process. It is fully integrated with Microsoft Outlook; so much so in fact, that you cannot see where Adviser Office ends and Outlook starts. This is the future.”

Also speaking at the conference, Paul Holland, executive chairman of Webline, announced the portals relationship with 1st had moved to a new level with the completion of two-way data integration.

Paul Holland said: “With growing demands on intermediaries to provide solid audit trails and meet regulatory standards, our integration with the 1st Services hub will allow the 10,000 users of Adviser Office to have exclusive access to a straight through process where, for the first time, data moves both ways - automatically pre-populating the quotes and e-submission services on Webline but also returning the completed quotes and business confirmation back into the users database.”