Under the leadership of Helen Ball, managing director of the network, Tenet’s main focus for 2021 is to increase the technological support available to brokers and ramp up the training on how to use it.
Since the Intelligent Office (IO) mandatory CRM system was introduced in September 2019, Tenet says it is “pleased” with the progress it has made improving the system since its launch, and has rolled out another IO upgrade this year.
Speaking to Mortgage Solutions about Tenet’s tech plans for 2021, director of strategic development Ben Wright (pictured) said: “Technological change is often unsettling but we’re now seeing excellent levels of customer usage with the IO system.
“Over a third of our members are making use of value-added components such as the personal finance portal to communicate securely with their clients, and others using integrations with sourcing systems and call recording capabilities within IO.”
Tenet says brokers can expect to receive more training on new technology roll outs than they did when IO was launched. Tenet was criticised by its members for giving four months notice that a new CRM system was being embedded into the network.
“We had to take a big bang approach when we switched over to Intelligent Office,” said Wright.
“This was definitely not our preferred way of operating. Our exit from the contract with our previous supplier meant we had to do it in that way.
“I think looking back we underestimated the level of training required, however, we have been investing considerable resource into training since this point, and continue to do so.”
He added: “We need to help our brokers use technology to enable efficiencies within their businesses.
“That will certainly be a theme for this year; more training, more guidance, more help in using our systems so advisers can gain efficiencies within their practices.”
IO is only one part of Tenet’s tech programme. The network has been working with a new software system called Zoho to deliver a CPD recording app.
The software is integrated into its events programme so when an adviser has attended a session the points will automatically be recorded for them.
Along side the app, Tenet says it has streamlined its file checking process and is currently building a dashboard that will display a firm’s key performance indicators to make compliance easier for firm principles.
New role for Broadley
Tenet Network Services replaced the Lime and Connect network brands in October last year bringing them under the sole leadership of Ball, who also sits on the board as group operations director.
Former Tenet Lime MD Simon Broadley, whose role Mortgage Solutions reported was under consultation in October, was moved from the network to manage one of Tenet’s own mortgage advice firms, Tenet Mortgage Solutions, the result of the acquisition of Police Mutual’s advice arm.
Broadley is in charge of 45 brokers within the firm which sits within Tenet’s own advice division called Tenet & You.
The group is investigating whether it is possible to carry out other similar acquisitions that will fall under the Tenet & You banner.
The rapid introduction of IO caused some firms to quit the network. Mortgage Solutions has spoken to brokers who have left, who say they have waited more than six months for novation to complete.
Novation is the process that begins when a broker serves notice to leave a network, and involves releasing earnings generated by the broker while working at the network.
Wright says where contractual obligations have been met, the novation process should complete within three to six months of the agreements being signed.
He added: “We’re always disappointed to lose any member. However, the actual number of departures in 2019/20 was not unexpected and broadly in line with our normal turnover.”
Tenet says its internal broker growth was strong last year and continues to support its member firms to increase their adviser numbers.