Valuations in Xplan wrong? It’s time to fix your third-party data feeds

Failing data feeds resulting in incorrect third party valuations are a major contributor to adoption challenges with Xplan and a reoccurring issue that wealth management companies struggle with. In this article Evotra CEO Sally Merritt explains why third-party data feeds into Xplan go wrong, the implications this has for your business and, importantly, what you can do to get your data feeds right and ultimately get a far better experience of Xplan.

Xplan is an incredibly powerful system that is capable of transforming wealth management operations. But as with anything as sophisticated as this, it needs expert handling, care and attention. Without this, it’ll struggle to deliver for you and can become extremely disruptive.

Failing data feeds are a common example of this. These are the feeds that go from your third-party providers via IressNET and into Xplan. When they’re working efficiently, the data they carry is the lifeblood of your business but when they malfunction they cause chaos.

Xplan is an incredibly powerful system that is capable of transforming wealth management operations. But as with anything as sophisticated as this, it needs expert handling, care and attention. Without this, it’ll struggle to deliver for you and can become extremely disruptive.

What are the implications on third party valuations when data feeds into Xplan fail?

When data feeds into Xplan fail, they don’t just cause significant operational issues for your business and consequences for your financial advisers and clients. They can lead to reputational risks. No wealth management business wants to be in a position where they can’t get their client valuations right but when overnight feeds into Xplan fail, this is exactly what can happen. And when valuations are wrong, among many other things, this hampers your advisers’ ability to manage client wealth, can prevent clients trading or making important financial decisions and compromises your ability to collect fees.

Why do third-party data feeds into Xplan fail?

When you’re using software with the functionality that Xplan has – not to mention operating in an industry as complex as UK financial services – there’s never going to be just one simple answer to this. But through our work with many different wealth managers, we do see the same issues reoccurring. In our experience, these are the main culprits that cause your overnight feeds to fail:

  • The correct data feeds have not been set up. When you migrate from a legacy system such as Adviser Office or Intelliflo to Xplan, the process of repointing all the feeds to Xplan is complex and time consuming. We often work with companies that are struggling to get to grips with this following their initial migration. They haven’t allocated enough resource for the move to Xplan and their stretched teams are forced to juggle this significant task alongside BAU activity. Any delay in setting up the correct data feeds will clearly have a huge impact on your business.
  • Migrated client or policy data is causing issues. Often, the feeds that are bringing data into Xplan are set up fine. But they don’t know where to point to within Xplan because of an underlying issue with your migrated client or policy data. This could be an issue that dates back to migration or, frustratingly, something that has crept in despite a correct initial set up. With multiple parties involved, a small change somewhere along the line can knock data feeds out, which is why regular, ongoing testing and checks are essential.
  • Adviser codes are wrong. Without the correct industry-recognised code in place, your third-party providers aren’t authorised to send the data to Xplan so your feeds will fail. This is simple to keep on top of if your team knows what to do and has a regular, disciplined approach to checking.
  • The structure of your client policies has changed in Xplan. This one can cause real heartburn. Your client policies were structured one way in your legacy system but now, in Xplan, they’re different. Any mismatch can cause quite significant issues.  A common example is where a SIPP wrapper has three underlying accounts linked to it. The legacy system was not advanced enough to split them out but Xplan is so your data feeds land differently. And a nasty consequence of this is that you can end up with duplicate balances.

What can you do to prevent data feeds into Xplan from failing?

Don’t underestimate the complexity. Xplan is powerful software but to reap the benefits, it’s vital that every aspect of your set up is correct. This is painstaking work that can be time consuming and, unfortunately, it’s not a one-off process. We often find that companies scrimp on this, either by not allocating enough time and resource or by relying on people without the training or skills to get it right. This is a false economy.

Training and ongoing support is key. We’ve witnessed a number of excellent inhouse teams coming unstuck when a data feed goes awry after migration. They planned meticulously for the big move to Xplan, tested thoroughly and took full advantage of the implementation support from Iress. But at the outset, they couldn’t foresee the challenges so didn’t ask all the right questions. Even if they did, six months down the line, their knowledge is hazy and when something happens, they struggle to fix it.

Be ruthless about data quality. People often blame systems or software when actually it’s the quality of the data that’s the issue. For your Xplan valuations to be accurate, you need well maintained data. If it’s out of date or inaccurate, it’s likely to cause issues and so too will inconsistent data. Failing data feeds demonstrate clearly that when it comes to the quality of your data, you’re only ever as good as your weakest link.

Check, check and check again. Things can and will go wrong so you need the people and processes in place to keep on top of this and to respond swiftly and skilfully.

How Evotra can help you fix, set up or maintain your third-party valuations 

Evotra focuses exclusively on helping wealth management businesses implement technology solutions and we’ve got real expertise in getting the best out of Xplan. Whether you want support migrating to Xplan, need help with your data feeds now or would benefit from ongoing training and support, we can help. Email us on hello@evotra.co.uk and we’ll be in touch.

Book your free healthcheck

We can also offer you a free, no-obligation healthcheck. This gives us the opportunity to understand your challenges, recommended actions and explain Evotra’s service options. These include:

  • Bundles of support or training time
  • Ongoing retainer services to maintain your data feeds

To book your free healthcheck, please email us on hello@evotra.co.uk or call us on +44 (0) 203 4101 955