Financial Planning

Bluerock has a strong base of individuals with experience of creating, marketing, selecting and implementing financial planning tools.  Our skills include IT, financial planning and behavioural economics combined with core project management skills to help clients to realise quantifiable business results.  We have worked with fund managers, platforms, life offices and back-office system providers in the context of employee communications to wealth management clients and online consumers to IFAs.

 We have provided advice to client on business requirements; functional specifications; build options and the implementation process through to launch.  The type of tools have varied from deterministic to stochastic, with and without transaction capabilities and made available via home, workplace and mobile devices.  We have evaluated software providers based in the US, Australia, Continental Europe and the UK and we monitor leading edge developments worldwide in this field.

In the News: Focus Solutions; eValue

Given Bluerock's specialist focus on financial planning tools, news of eValue being sold by Towers Watson to Financial Express following Focus Solutions sale to Standard Life was of particular interest. Rumours of eValue being sold had been circulating for some time - it had always been an unusual service line back in Tillinghast-Towers Perrin days. It has, however, had a strong track record as the stochastic asset modelling tool of choice for a number of banks, life offices and intermediaries (not least via back office systems such as 1st Software). Interestingly, Standard Life was eValue's first life office client. The move to a financial data provider seems logical - Morningstar acquired Financial Engines several years ago and has marketed its Adviser Workstation as a complete package of tools. Financial Express has maintained some advantages over rivals in the UK and with eValue's existing market footprint we look forward to some interesting future developments.

Not long after signing a £10 million, 2-year deal with Barclays, Focus Solutions has been acquired by Standard Life for £42 million, a 33% premium over its November 8 share price. Quite a sum for a business that made a PBT of £1.1 million in the first half of 2010. Standard says it will combine with its wrap platform and threesixty's support services offering to provide a full solution to advisers as well as helping to grow its retail bank and direct business. Focus is a very different beast to eValue of course - it provides an end-to-end enterprise platform, from POS to back-end contract enquiry and transactional capabilities. Put in the context of Standard's acquisition of Vebnet in 2008, and Standard Life's ongoing relationship with FNZ, it has the technology components to accelerate a transformation from a pure product provider to a multi-channel service provider. Of course, the test strategy is in its execution and time will tell how well these elements can be fused into a fully-integrated proposition.