Finance Awards 2018

Wealth & Finance International - 2018 Finance Awards 17 Since its inception in 1982 Willis Owen has supported over 150,000 customers in the execution of their investment needs. Today the firm acts as a fund platform, helping individuals from all ages to invest in products such as ISAs or SIPPs. Additionally, the firm also helps young children to build on their money by allowing their parents, grandparents and friends to invest in junior ISA or SIPP on their behalf. This vast service offering has evolved over the past 36 years and has helped the company to define its mission and core values, which Adrian outlines in detail for us in his opening comments. “At Willis Owen, our mission is to help people secure their financial future and assist them in becoming become financially independent. This, in turn, supports them to achieve their goals and dreams. “To achieve this goal, we have developed our website to make it easier for investors to access and trade on it. We have worked hard behind the scenes to improve the technology and make investing easier, cheaper and more transparent. Our Play tool is an example of helping new investors get on board and try investing with some imaginary money before they commit. This is essential as investing can be daunting and there is a lot of choice available. The play tool helps new and indeed experienced investors test things out in a safer environment.” In today’s market, there are many challenges that investment firms such as Willis Owens have to overcome: the key one being attracting new clients, as Adrian explains. “Currently, the biggest challenge the investment industry faces is attracting the next generation of investors. We have benefitted from the baby boomers who all saved and invested but as they retire we need to find new customers to replace them. The biggest issue is the industry is not very appealing to the generation Xers and Millennials, and the idea of saving today to have not tomorrow, but years down the line, is not an easy one to sell. This is especially true in world where convenience is dominating, and short-term gratification is much easier to sell. “As part of our focus on appealing to these generations and ensuring they understand the importance of investing on their long-term future, we collaborate with the client and listen closely to their needs, so that they know they have a trusted partner in us. Whilst in many industries there is an assumption the customer is always right, this is not always the case in financial services and clients look to us for help. As such, at Willis Owen we have to listen to their concerns and queries and that puts us in the best position to respond and help them. The level of investment knowledge can vary significantly so it is important Willis Owen is one of the first discount brokers in the UK and has long history of supporting individual investors to make sound financial and investment decisions. We invited Adrian Lowcock to tell us more about the firm and how it has come to achieve the reputation for excellence that it enjoys today. Best Direct to Consumer Investment Platform - UK Willis Owen Willis Owen Oct18558 to taylor any service to allow investors to make the right decisions. Our team of committed staff work are there to answer any questions and provide information and support.” As he looks to the future Adrian foresees even more developments within the investment market, which will offer Willis Owen many exciting opportunities for further growth and achievement, as he is excited to conclude. “Moving forward, robo-advice is one key development we expect to continue to evolve within our market, and as such we are working to adapt around this. At the moment the solutions are fairly basic, and it has been a learning curve for all of them. Looking ahead, the future seems to be one of making the experience less onerous and taking away the complex decisions from the investors. The challenge for this area is still attracting people to actually invest in the first place whether it is robo or not. Communication needs to improve in the industry both within it and to investors. This is where we can significantly differentiate ourselves as we have the flexibility to test out different journeys. “To enhance this even further, at Willis Owen we are also working on additional solutions to improve the data our investors have access to. This will give them more tools to help them make better and more informed investment decisions as well as help us to build a range of solutions for new and inexperienced investors to help them avoid some common mistakes. Remaining supportive and responsive to the needs of our customers remains central to our ongoing focus as we look towards a prosperous future.” Company: Willis Owen Name: Adrian Lowcock Address: Ground Floor, 507 (Unit 2), Centennial Business Park, Elstree, WD6 3FG Telephone Number: 07882677784 Web Address: