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St James’s Place to launch mobile app

Wealth industry ‘has perhaps not been at the leading front edge of tech’

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UK wealth manager St James’s Place will unveil its first mobile app this month as the firm prepares to get “up to date” with its customers’ tech demands, it confirmed to International Adviser.

The company began developing the app last year and has been testing it with a few thousand customers since March. It plans to start a full rollout to its 830,000 clients this month.

The app will allow customers to see personalised performance figures for all their investments at SJP and help cut down on the need for paper documents. The app will remain optional for SJP clients, who can choose to still receive paper documents.

Ian MacKenzie, chief operations and technology officer at SJP, said to the Financial Times: “The app is really something that covid led us to turbocharge. Wealth management and financial planning, we would all recognise, has perhaps not been at the leading front edge of tech.”

He added that the service would “put us up to date”.

SJP is looking to make up ground with its wealth management rivals as Brewin Dolphin launched its app in 2019, while Evelyn Partners rolled out its app in 2016. Hargreaves Lansdown has had an app up and running for more than a decade.

MacKenzie added: “Am I worried we’re late to the party? No, not at all. I think what we’ve done is take the time to understand what our clients want. There’s a multigenerational appetite for digital. We see people who are 60 or 70 and have embraced the digital journey, largely because of the pandemic.”

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