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Littlewood itching to get started on robo launch

Work may commence later this year on bringing back to life roboadvice product last offered two decades ago.

Friday, October 21st 2016, 5:59AM 1 Comment

by Susan Edmunds

Michael Littlewood

Michael Littlewood developed a computer programme called Planit to provide financial planning tools for Fletcher Challenge staff while he was the company's employee benefits director.

He now sees a gap in the market for the programme to be resurrected and offered more widely. The Financial Advisers Act review is to clear the way for roboadvice.

Littlewood said he could not start work on the project in earnest until he had retired as a director of SuperLife, which is due to happen next month.

“I still have ambitions for it and people I want to talk to. But I can’t do that until I’m separated from a potential competitor. I would dearly love to do something about it.”

He said the Financial Markets Conduct Act, did not look likely to succeed with its intention to make financial markets and products more accessible to consumers.

“We started the new regime with the idea that if something can’t be explained in two pages people give up. But now we’ve got something [a PDS] that’s 6000 words long and prescriptive. I doubt it will add to the sum of human knowledge. I think it’s a shame there are still these barriers that are clearly evident between savers and providers. The only way to break that down is with something that’s accessible and addresses people at their own level.”

He said a roboadvice product such as Planit could help people understand the issues that affected them and what they could do about it.

“It’s going to happen, if it’s not me who does it, someone will.”

He said the clients who would be drawn to such a tool were probably people who were not getting the information they needed at present. Those who knew they needed more detailed help would continue to seek financial advice.

Tags: roboadvice

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Comments from our readers

On 25 October 2016 at 10:31 pm gavler said:
Gee Michael it didn't work in the captive market of Fletcher's so why would it work now or was it the marketing that let it down. A dead duck is a dead duck something FRESH is what the public want not some regurgitated failure.

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