By Next Wealth | 02 May 2022 | 3 minute read
Adrian Murphy is not afraid to trailblaze when it comes to tech: at age 25 he persuaded the well-established Murphy Wealth to ditch all the filing cabinets and put their faith in digital.
Headquartered in Glasgow, the firm started in 1977 and when Adrian joined in 2004 the operating system was MS Dos. His vision was – and still is – to automate as many of the repetitive tasks as possible, to free up time to concentrate on clients.
Describing himself as an ‘early considerer’ rather than early adopter, he has not been slow to buy into tech that can help him achieve his goals. As he says, it doesn’t matter how much time you put into researching a new piece of software, you only really know if it is right once you plug it in.
His over-riding frustration is the same now as it has always been – the lack of integration between systems.
The firm is on its third back-office system. Having used First Software then intelliflo, Adrian changed to Time4Advice because it promised the ability to customise the system. However, it didn’t go as smoothly as he had hoped. As he says, all tech systems promise quick wins but they all take more time and resource than planned.
Being a relatively small firm, Adrian finds it challenging to get software providers to tweak systems to work more efficiently but after the pandemic forced the firm to look at all its systems, they invested in an IT programmer to see how they could improve things. This in itself didn’t result in a perfect solution but it did work as a catalyst for change and he is impressed with how Time4Advice responded.
Adrian believes they could have the ideal tech stack except for the fact most of the systems don’t integrate with each other.
Legacy work when onboarding new clients is one of his biggest bugbears, taking hours of time that he knows would be better spent with clients. Waiting for information from providers also holds up the service they can give to clients and he resents others’ inefficiencies impacting on the image of his firm.
Gaps in the tech market
Alongside better integration, Adrian would love to see tech that enables clients to fully interact with their financial plan, having the ability to do sophisticated scenario planning before they discuss their thoughts with their adviser.
Behavioural finance apps that track where money is spent and can be saved are now widely available but Adrian believes more can be done that would lift the service an advice firm offers clients far beyond the regular review meetings.
While he’s always keen to see what’s coming into the market, Adrian believes the best way for the firm to succeed in the long term is to look at building bespoke tech.
He has ambitious plans for the business: he wants to increase AUM five-fold over the next five to seven years. Being bigger will provide scale to achieve more, including having in-house resource for IT and marketing.
While his vision is for a tech stack that drives out the mundane, he’s not ditching some of the old school ways to connect with clients.
Something the pandemic taught him is that sometimes the most effective way to connect with clients is to pick up the telephone and talk to them. His big wish is that the tech scene was less fragmented, so he and his team had more time to do so.