Ascentric is a trading brand of Investment Funds Direct Limited (IFDL) a company authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and based in Bath, Somerset. Investment Funds Direct Limited supplies investment administration services, execution only investment dealing, custody services and a wrap platform service through a web-based investment platform. It provides ‘White Label’ versions of the Ascentric wrap platform to selected third parties.
An effective Front Office solution has always been a critical part of IFDL growth. After years of fast growth, the original IFDL Wrap Platform was quickly becoming dated in terms of technology and User Experience. It offered rich functionality to the advisers, but it was only supporting old web browsers and its navigation was lacking.
IFDL has been preparing to improve both Back Office and Front Office systems. It was clear that a new solution was necessary that would enable integration with multiple systems effectively – both the legacy Platform, and any new software that would be introduced in the coming years. This proved a complicated task from the architecture and UI design point of view. Growing business volumes also put a lot of pressure on the business, and improvements to Online Client Setup, Reporting, white label branding and other key business processes were necessary. It was increasingly important to make an advisers’ work as efficient as possible, and to enable other key partners – Fund Managers, Product Partners, (DFMs) etc. – to eventually work on the same platform.
The Front Office refresh was started as a new front end to both the legacy Wrap Platform and upcoming replacement Front Office solution.
It was a standalone project developed on the foundations of the previously built Model Portfolio application, giving Advisers a common navigation and search experience across all existing systems. In addition, it allows integration with almost any 3rd party system, (from a UI point of view), without affecting the User Experience for users. Such extensibility will be key in the next few years.
The Front Office refresh works very well across all modern browsers without breaking functionality for existing users. A very fast universal search capability was introduced, which allows advisers to quickly look up Client data and perform various actions on their behalf across all IFDL systems.
The project was managed end-to-end by Objectivity and delivered in close collaboration with the IFDL team in the UK and a 3rd party software provider in India. It was released live in October 2013.
System was well received by IFDL’s Clients and will be extended in the next major release of the IFDL Front Office solution.