|When performing research into some products (mostly price-led contracts such as term assurance, CIC etc.), Synaptic provides the valuable option of retrieving live quotations so that you can perform research using features AND pricing at the same time. The client entry screen typically asks all of the questions You can add any number of data fields to this grid, as illustrated by the first screenshot below.|
NOTE – if you do NOT want Synaptic to retrieve Live Quotes, simply de-select the Enable Live Quotes checkbox at the bottom left of the screen – this will then commence research using only the standard Synaptic data set, and excluding any pricing data.Once you click the Start research button, Synaptic will retrieve quotes from as many providers as support the quote system, and will show a holding message, as shown in the second screenshot below.
Once the quotes have been retrieved, the normal Synaptic Research window will be shown, but it will have three columns already added to the contract grid.
A ‘Recommend contract’ column, to allow you to choose the desired contract without going any further into the research. A ‘Live Quote premium’ column, with details of the premiums for each contract. A ‘Live Quote benefit’ column, with details of the benefits payable under the contract (for example, if a minimum premium has been applied, the sum assured may be higher than requested). The live quotes page will also have an additional header bar, just below the menu bar, which will give details of the quotation and also offers a link to change the client options or quote options. Note that the three additional columns will also result in three additional data items on the Conditions tab. This means that the extra columns can be removed and added to the grid in the same way as any other data field.
When the Live Quote facility has been used, the Ranking page will contain the same three additional data items, listed under the Live quotes category, as shown in the screenshot to the right. This means that research can be ranked on exact data, rather than the indicative premium data used previously (and which is still available if required). Also when the Live Quote facility has been used, additional downloads and e-apply functionality will also be offered when you move to the Ranking Results page. Note that you can navigate straight to this page without ranking and if you select a contract from the filtering grid (by clicking the Select button in the ‘Recommend contract’ column), you will be taken straight to the Ranking results page. In addition to the usual reporting features, there will be an additional Quote details section (shown in the third screenshot to the right) which allows the download and saving of additional documents (such as KFDs, personal illustrations, etc) and also provides the facility to apply for the contract electronically (note that you must tick the two checkboxes to confirm that the KFD and Personal illustration have been read before you can e-apply).
Suitability reports for funds, and other documentationYou can generate suitability reports for fund research in exactly the same way as for product research: you use the Report link on the menu bar of either the filtering screen or the ranking screen.
As ever, it is worth bearing in mind that you can produce a number of other types of documentation in addition to suitability reports:
Factsheets, either for a single fund or for multiple funds.
A PDF version of the filtering grid.
A PDF version of the ranking results.
A graph (covered in the next section).
Suitability Reports and Quick ReportsThe final stage in the client-focused research process is to generate documentation for the client explaining which contract you are recommending, and why. N.B. Don’t forget that the system can be used to generate many other types of “report” – grids of contract data, factsheets, comparisons of specific products etc.
Choosing a report The bottom half of the screen, as illustrated by the screenshot above, is for choosing the report template you want to use. There are two types of report which can be generated, both of which are discussed in detail below. The list of templates available to your firm may differ from the list illustrated in the screenshot, and your firm will not see the right-hand list at all if you have not paid for the system’s full suitability report functionality.
Storage of Reports that you generate are not stored in the system (because they can be regenerated at any time). If you want to keep a copy of a Quick Report, save it in PDF form. Suitability reports are downloaded for editing on your computer, and therefore you automatically have a copy. N.B. If your back-office software has been integrated with Synaptic Research, all Quick Reports and suitability reports that you generate can automatically be stored in the back-office system’s document management. List of recommended funds
Suitability reportsSynaptic Research can be used to generate anything from single-page summaries of research to full multi-page suitability reports which cover all regulatory requirements such as affordability, reviews, and attitude to risk.
If your firm has purchased the additional Report Editing functionality, the templates for these reports are fully user-configurable – but only by designated compliance officers for a firm. Changes to templates can be distributed across the entire organisation at the touch of a button.
Synaptic Research also generates many other types of report which can be used to support a recommendation or to demonstrate compliance. Examples include grids of research data, contract and fund factsheets, and league tables of contracts ranked according to criteria such as charges, financial strength and past performance.
All reports from Synaptic Research can be automatically passed back into an organisation’s back-office system.
Structure of Synaptic’s data about contractsSynaptic does not just copy “brochure” text out of a contract’s Key Features document. All data is analysed, and expressed quantitatively where possible – e.g. three detailed, filterable fields rather than a single field containing brochure text.
Synaptic divides the information about a contract up into three main areas:
Finally, the data on fund links allows users to eliminate contracts which do not offer specific funds – i.e. to build a basket of funds in which to invest the client’s money, and then to research which wrap platforms (or other contracts) the basket can be bought through.