Third Financial Software - Best Technology Provider - Transaction Processing

Third Financial Software has enjoyed another record year of growth, reports chief executive Stewart Foster, (pictured) and has almost doubled in size. Founded in 2008, Third Financial has gone from simple software to offering a software platform business and is now looking at the direct to consumer market. 

The platform business is headed by Matt Aylward, ex-Brooks Macdonald, and designed to look after clients who outsource their back office. The new business unit focusing on the D2C market is headed up by founding director Pete Caddick.

The firm has won the award for transaction processing. "We were a front and middle office vendor to the UK wealth management market in 2011 and then built a back office team and the idea was that the one piece of technology would look after clients from front to back office," Foster says. "There are a growing number of clients who use us as a transaction processing engine and that is the technology that will drive the platform business."

Foster is observing consolidation within the industry and believes it will continue. "But people tend to forget that the number of clients is about the same because despite all the high profile consolidations there are a mass of start-ups every year. It's very much a business that does a good job of reinventing itself with constant renewal and change," Foster says.

He believes that the industry's development has been driven by end client demand. "Fundamentally what happens is that firms start and then they get big and the service gets less personal and then the senior members go off and set up a boutique offering a more personal service again. It's a cycle that is going on as the market does a good job of renewal and it will continue," he says. "And the renewals are in a slightly different form – last year we mentioned the direct consumer approach which is gathering significant momentum with a raft of new entrants into that market."

Foster sees the rise of so-called robo-adviser firms, different from traditional wealth management firms, and believes they are still evolving as consumer demand evolves.

"We have a number of clients in this direct to consumer or self-adviser sector – we see it as an exciting growth area," he says.

"Internally we decided to invest GBP1.5 million into a new tech suite specifically aimed at direct to consumer market which will be the third and final leg in our strategy," Foster says. "The sector will attract billions of money over the next decade and we want to compliment what we have and get part of that new market space. We are working on it now and the first version will be ready in the fourth quarter of this year."

The direct to consumer project is currently named Xing and Foster believes that every major wealth manager will offer this type of offering over the next five years to complement their existing business. The plan is that Xing will be available to software and platform clients going forward

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