Business News

CEO Q&A: Alan Quinlan, Ignition Wealth Ireland

By Business & Finance
07 March 2018
Alan Quinlan, Ignition Wealth Ireland

Alan Quinlan, Ignition Wealth Ireland, talks the importance of financial advice and the growing customer demands in the financial services industry.

Q. What are your main priorities and goals in your role?

Ireland is our main priority for 2018. We want to replicate the success that Ignition Wealth has had in Australia through partnering with large pension funds and financial institutions which are in the process of reimagining the financial advice experience they provide to their customers. Beyond that we will look to enter other European markets, hopefully on a partnership basis with institutions whose existing services would be complimented by ours.

Q. What are your biggest challenges as CEO?

As CEO it’s vital to ensure that all our stakeholders are front of mind in everything we do and to maintain the courage and belief in our convictions.

Q. How do you keep your team/staff motivated?

I try to ensure we have a team that believes in what we are trying to do, knows what we are aiming to achieve and has a similar value system. Motivation inherently comes from within so getting people’s buy-in at a higher level helps maintain a certain level of self-motivation. If that is under threat on any given day, then chocolate and humour normally help!

Q. What are the challenges facing your industry going forward?

The financial advice/wealth management industry is at the start of a pivotal shift. Customers are demanding better experiences, regulators are quite rightly demanding a greater level of customer best-interest and margins are continually being squeezed or redirected. The most important challenge is digital disruption and how to stay relevant in a rapidly-changing world.

Q. What new trends are emerging in your industry?

Digitisation and automation are driving incumbent financial service players to look for ways in which they can upgrade both their core technology systems and also how they build engaging financial advice journeys that are relevant for both end customers and financial advisers. We are also seeing revenue generation composition begin to move away from being solely fund and advice charges. Technology is now a third pillar of revenue generation for financial service firms. Ignition Wealth benefits from our knowledge and experience in Australia where this has been the case for a number of years.

Q. Are there any major changes you would like to see in your sector?

I would like to see financial advisers perceived to be on par with other professional service professions. Anyone who has experienced the services of a good financial adviser knows the value they provide and I think technology can really enable this going forward.

Q. As an employer are you finding any skills gaps in the market?

I would say that the expectations of candidates and how they want to work is changing quickly. Flexibility is key for most people and we as employers need to respond to that innovatively.

Q. How did your strategy develop in the context of the banking crisis and economic crisis?

The crisis period showed a need for less variability in financial advice delivery, greater transparency and better governance monitoring. Ignition Wealth’s technology directly helps in all of these areas.

Q. How will Brexit affect you, or have you started to feel the effects already?

Dublin was chosen as a European hub to Brexit-proof Ignition Wealth’s push into Europe as much as possible.

Q. How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?

Success to me is to be able to tell friends that you genuinely enjoy what you do every day. It’s also to be able to meaningfully and positively affect people’s lives. We hope that people have better financial outcomes from interacting with Ignition Wealth’s technology.

Q. What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?

Is this of value and relevant to your end customers, are you differentiated enough in what you do and are you staying true to your values? I try keep these three questions front of mind.

Q. What have been your highlights in business over the past year?

Having launched Ignition Wealth Ireland in 2017, the market has been highly receptive to both our technology and skill set. We have exciting projects in the works for 2018.

Q. What’s next for the company?

Ignition Wealth Ireland will continue to provide innovative technology to our partners and look forward to growing together.

I would say that the expectations of candidates and how they want to work is changing quickly. Flexibility is key for most people and we as employers need to respond to that innovatively.

Ignition Wealth is driven by one overriding goal: to give all Australians, no matter what their income or work status, access to financial advice that will help them achieve their own personal goals.

From its inception in 2008, Ignition Wealth has been using our deep industry knowledge and technological expertise to deliver on that goal.