An introduction to Seccl: the embedded investment platform

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An introduction to Seccl: the embedded investment platform

Welcome to Seccl.

We’re the Octopus-backed embedded investment platform looking to fix the broken investment platform industry.

Our software and services empower forward-thinking firms to remove the hassle, lower the cost and improve the overall experience of investing — empowering more people to invest and be treated well.

We’re reimagining what good looks like. Ready to do the same?

About us

We’re the embedded investment platform

Why do we exist? Because investments aren’t working…

Our sector is being held back by old tech, dismal processes and misaligned interests.

Together they create pointless complexity for financial planning and investment professionals, and provide outdated, overpriced experiences for customers. We’re on a mission to fix it.

We help forward-thinking financial planners, wealth managers and investment platforms to reimagine their business and client experience – empowering them to build more sustainable and valuable operations, and meet the digital demands of the future, not the baseline expectations of the past.

A regulated custodian and ISA/SIPP provider, we combine the disruptive mindset to shake things up with the substance to not screw them up.

We’re proud to be part of Octopus, the £12.5 billion group that’s on a mission to breathe new life into broken industries, through companies like Octopus Energy, Octopus Investments and Octopus Money.

For too long, our market has put up with outdated systems that are not fit for purpose. It’s time for better. It’s time for Seccl.

"We thought there must be a better way for a platform to link up with the huge universe of different financial planning tools, without actually providing them itself.

Lots of platforms try to be all things to all people, by providing a full spectrum of tools that an adviser might want to use. But they struggle to integrate with the tools they actually use already.

We looked around the market and there was nobody else that would allow us to do what we wanted.

And I don’t think there is anybody else that we could work with that would allow us to move as quickly as we are."

James Priday
CEO, P1 Platform

Our purpose

We build technology that helps more people to invest — and invest well.

Our operating principles

Never settle
We think of ourselves as ‘embedded hero-makers’ for our customers. We put them first, and if we say we’ll do something, we’ll move heaven earth to do it. We think boldly and embrace change.

Take ownership
We think rigorously and deeply about a problem, but then charge at it, acting with an urgency and speed that sets us apart. But we never lose sight on quality or long-term scalability.

Be generous and candid
We encourage our people — and our customers — to challenge us and never shy away from tough conversations. We have a flat and inclusive culture where everyone can be themselves — and speak up.

Why Seccl?

We’re redefining what good looks like

We empower ambitious, forward-thinking companies from across the retail wealth landscape to reimagine their business and their client experience. With Seccl, you can…

Build more valuable businesses
Reduce internal operating costs. Either capture the value, pass on in full or share with clients

Integrate systems and tools
Cut out the back and forth and manual processes, to reach new levels of internal efficiency

Take control of your proposition
Choose your fee structure, client bank and investment universe, with full platform flexibility

Improve your digital offering
Build a lightning-fast – and entirely paperless – investing and advice journey

Serve new clients
Advised, XO or hybrid, wealthy or aspiring… cater for all, with full platform flexibility

Lower your costs
Deliver a better service, for less, by translating efficiency savings into real client cost-savings

And we do it all by helping you to reimagine your technology. Our low-cost, hyper-efficient and (genuinely) API-first technology infrastructure handles millions of requests every day, and powers the portfolios of around 160,000 investors.

An ambitious scale-up, with serious backing

We’re growing fast

We currently administer over £1.4 billion of client assets on behalf of around 160,000 UK retail clients, across more than 20 different investment platforms.

To date, we’ve facilitated well in excess of 10 million transactions, and typically process an average of over 1 million API requests every day. We’re currently in the process of onboarding a further £3bn of assets. (All data correct as of December 2023).

We believe we’re the fastest-growing custodian and investment technology provider in the market, with 307% year-on-year growth in monthly net flows in December 2022 (against a challenging market backdrop).

(All data accurate as of January 2024).

We’re part of Octopus

In September 2019, while still pre-market, Seccl was acquired by Octopus — the £12.8 billion group that’s on a mission to breathe new life into broken industries, through companies like Octopus Energy, Octopus Investments and Octopus Money.

On a mission to invest in the people, ideas and industries that will change the world, Octopus continues to support our growth as a fully-aligned shareholder, with a shared ambition to disrupt broken industries.

The agility of a disruptor. The credibility of Octopus…

  • £12.8b Octopus Group assets under management (Source: Octopus, December 2022)
  • £80m Octopus’s surplus regulatory capital (Source: Octopus, February 2023)
  • 3+ million customers across Octopus Group companies (Source: Octopus, February 2023)

Who we help

Powering the future of wealth

With our embedded investment engine at their core, companies of all shapes and sizes can launch new investment platforms in record quick time – strengthening their proposition, growing their revenue, lowering their costs and improving their customer experience.

Operating across the entire wealth management landscape, we support all kinds of firms — from fledgling start-ups, to large and well-established financial advice businesses and everything in between. In particular, we help…

Financial advisers and consolidators
to take control of their client experience, with a low-cost, fully digital platform

Adviser technology providers
to create a seamless advice journey with their own embedded platform

Start-up wealthtechs
to launch their new investment or advice start-up in record quick time

Neobanks and established fintechs
to deepen customer engagement with their own in-app investment proposition

How we help

Everything you need to launch a leading investment platform

Our embedded investment solution combines a range of software and services that help ambitious firms to launch investment platforms more quickly and affordably than ever before…

Our overall aim is to reduce the cost of advice and support advisers to deliver better service to end clients.

First-class technology solutions have been key to the success of Söderberg & Partners in Sweden and we are delighted to now be able to bring this approach to the UK. Seccl will form the foundation
of our legacy-free platform and we will continue investing in technology in the months and years to come.

Nick Raine
CEO, Söderberg & Partners Wealth Management

How we’re different

Legacy-free tech, built for a changing future…

Change is coming

Technology has changed customer expectations beyond recognition.

In all aspects of our lives, we have come to demand rich and seamless experiences, delivered directly by the brands we know and love.

Ten years ago, this type of convenience, speed and personalisation would have been unthinkable.

Ten years from now, customers will expect a level of sophistication that today we can only dream of.

It’s a fast-changing world that demands rapid, continuous innovation.

Death, taxes and regulation…

And it’s not just consumer expectations that continue to evolve. Here in the wealth management space there’s another constant change that brands need to wrestle with: regulation.

From RDR in 2012, to MiFID II and its PROD rules in 2018 — and most recently the implications of Consumer Duty — firms of all shapes and sizes have been forced to adapt to a raft of essential regulatory change. And as sure as death and taxes, this trend will continue.

In this context, agility and adaptability aren’t nice-to-haves. They’re the price for entry.

We design for change

Seccl is built on a simple principle. We know that change is constant — and so we make sure that our technology is designed to adapt to it.

From day one, the Seccl system has been built using an approach that involves anticipating potential areas of change and packaging them into unique services – rather than building technology to meet a set of static requirements.

This means that when we inevitably need to change things, we can do so at pace and with a high degree of confidence, since the impact of the change is restricted to a small and well-defined area of our system.

We maintain a single instance

As well as anticipating change through our architecture, we also massively reduce the
cost and time of new development work by maintaining a single instance of our code base.

It might sound like a niche point, but it’s massively important.

Traditionally, software vendors have tended to deploy different branches of code for each of their clients – meaning they have to replicate work for as many branches as they maintain. It duplicates effort, adds cost and wastes time.

Let’s illustrate with an example. Say we build a new feature or piece of functionality — or introduce a fix or some development work to meet changing regulations. Thanks to our ‘single instance’ approach, we only have to do this once — instantly and securely deploying it to all of our individual clients.

Competitors reliant on a multi-branch model have to replicate the same work for as many branches as they maintain.

Why waste time coding the same feature 200 times, when you can simply do it once — and do it well?

In short, our unique architecture and ‘single instance’ means we can build features and ship them in double-quick time…

We’re creating a new standard of hyper-efficiency

Our approach to technology has allowed us to develop new functionality and onboard firms with an unrivalled speed. Not to mention build what we think is the most automated custody and trading business in the market…

We ship features fast… Our modern architecture, our independence from traditional providers and our strong, well- aligned backing from Octopus makes for an unrivalled speed of feature development.

For example, in September 2022 we launched our own fully digital accumulation pension after as little as six months of build time.

This was followed in 2023 – and after just another six months of build – by our fully automated drawdown pension.

We release code daily… Most investment platforms tend to package up fixes and new features into infrequent ‘big bang’ releases. The trouble with this approach is that it tends to bring a whole lot of banging and crashing with it, too – creating lengthy downtimes (planned and unplanned), unexpected problems and, sometimes, costly rollbacks.

Modern technology firms favour a continuous deployment approach – regularly testing and releasing code into a live environment. In September 2023 alone, we made 124 deployments of code to production – 95% of them ‘new’ (as opposed to fixes of recently introduced functionality). That’s six deployments per working day.

We onboard at speed… And it’s not just our feature development that happens at pace — but our ability to get our clients live, too.

Take GoHenry, the children’s financial education app with over 2 million customers. Within four months of our very first conversation, we had transferred their entire Junior ISA book across to our custody.

We scale with processes, not people… Radical efficiency gains are crucial to unlocking the long-term affordability of retail investment propositions — driving down costs, strengthening business models and creating genuine customer value.

While our competitors focus on growth over scalability — growing their headcount to match their assets — we believe our scalability will be the key to our growth.

For an example of the type of efficiencies we aspire to, just take a look at our payment processing. Thanks to an API integration with our client money banking partner, we can allocate client deposits to the appropriate account on our system within a couple of seconds of them being received at our bank.

Our client money reconciliations are automated and now run ‘by exception’ — dramatically increasing operational efficiency and removing the need for substantial numbers of cash operations staff.

Recent performance…

  • 159k Investors relying on our software and services (December 2023)
  • 1m Requests made to our API every single day (on average – December 2023)
  • 599k Total transactions processed in November 2023 alone
  • 126 Deployments of code to production in September 2023 alone
  • 10 seconds To receive money from client’s bank and invest in the market

Getting started

From first look to full launch in just a few months

Contrary to what established incumbents might have you believe, it needn’t take years or cost millions to launch an investment platform.

With our scalable, modern and legacy-free technology, it’s simpler, faster and more affordable than ever. We’ve outlined the high-level launch journey here. How fast, you ask? Well, we launched and migrated one client’s book as little as four months after our first conversation… Can you beat them?

  1. Prep and permissions
    After a series of demos and the usual DD, we’ll guide you through the process for obtaining new permissions (if you need any).
  2. Deep-dive workshop
    An intensive, full-day kick-off workshop to fully understand and document your needs, culminating in a full plan detailing the nature and scope of your integration.
  3. Fee-free integration
    As well as guiding you through your technical integration, we’ll offer you support on your regulatory, compliance and legal tasks, too. All at zero cost.
  4. Launch
    We work with you to onboard your first new assets, and migrate any existing books across to your new platform.

Want to find out more?

Working together… To learn more about the ins and outs of what’s involved - and, in particular, who’s resposible for what - take a read of our introductory guide to getting started with Seccl…

Permission to launch… Discover what permissions you might need to run an investment platform and find tips on how to submit an application to the FCA…

Find out more

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