Navigating the new rules of business – a client story.
Equilibrium Financial Planning is the award-winning Chartered wealth management company based in Wilmslow, Cheshire, that offers genuinely personalised financial planning, giving clients confidence now and in the future. In January this year, the firm hit £1bn assets under management for the first time in the firm’s history.
Robert Douglas - Process Support & Development Specialist at Equilibrium explains how they have worked with moneyinfo to move from email to secure messaging during lockdown.
“Our primary role as your adviser is to keep a calm head and help you as our clients to navigate these uncertain times.” Ben Rogers – Financial Planner at Equilibrium.
In this new world, this isn’t just about keeping clients informed about the markets, it extends to ensuring our clients can communicate safely and protecting them from threats that could befall them.
Equilibrium, ahead of many businesses, moved to working from home in mid-March. At the time we were preparing to roll-out the Equilibrium client portal to many clients as part of a service improvement, introducing it at annual reviews.
The move to homeworking increased the need to communicate with clients and ensure our messages were getting through. We took the decision early to extend the roll-out of our moneyinfo portal to all our clients, so they could move away from email communication because of its security flaws.
The key problem with email is the relatively low level of security and the general likelihood of it being targeted by fraudsters. Many of the scams and hacking attempts seen today are aimed at gaining access and control of an individual’s email account. From there, the criminal can not only read all your correspondence, but also even pose as you to gain access to other websites, such as banking or your investments.
By using a secure portal instead of email, we can significantly reduce the likelihood of a fraudster gaining access to anything that may compromise our clients’ investments.
Self-isolate from your portfolio
To help ease clients’ minds during this period of volatility, we have suggested that they “self-isolate” from their portfolio. To help achieve this, the dashboard pod showing the portfolio has been removed from the client landing page in the portal and the Equilibrium client app. The portfolio is still accessible from the menu but requires a deliberate action from the client to want to see their portfolio rather than it being front and centre on login.
Under the Equilibrium client portal, clients are kept up to date with all the latest information with a specially designed dashboard pod together with access to video guides and newsletters.
The roll-out to clients, which was expected to take up to a further year to complete, was undertaken in a few days with moneyinfo’s support and now all clients that want to access the portal can do so. This has seen a five-fold increase in client logins to over 7,000 in March from just over 1,500 in February.
The use of secure messaging to keep clients safe is now the default way Equilibrium communicate with clients.
There is no going back, client data security is above all paramount and the COVID-19 lock-down has highlighted and speeded up what we already knew.
Email is not the way to communicate.
Robert Douglas - Process Support & Development Specialist at Equilibrium