Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) has formed a new robo-advice firm as it looks to build up the digital capabilities of its national advice business, 1825, Wealth Manager sister title New Model Adviser® has revealed. 

Last month a new company was formed on Companies House, Standard Life Digital Solutions, with 1825 Financial Planning its sole shareholder. One of the firm’s three directors is 1825 chief executive Julie Scott.

In a statement sent to New Model Adviser®, a spokeswoman for SLA said the new business was part of the group’s plans to use robo-advice to give more people access to advice.

‘Our vision is to offer a combination of digital, telephony and face to face advice,’ the spokeswoman said.

‘With 1825, we’re building a national financial planning business with a high quality face-to-face capability and we’re also looking to develop a digital capability to provide planning and advice in areas of the market where people don’t already have easy access to advice. It makes sense to form this new company as we continue to look at how we can improve the advice process through digitalisation.’

SLA has previously talked up its ambitions to get into the robo-advice space. In a Citywire video interview (see below), Standard Life’s former pensions chief executive, Barry O’Dwyer, said: ‘1825 is about building for the future. We see a massive advice gap particularly in the middle market and we need to fill that gap. Actually we will probably fill it a lot with digital advice.’

Last year 1825 was one of the 29 firms that joined the fourth wave of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) regulatory sandbox, with an automated proposition for consumers close to retirement.

1825's proposition offers plans that are 'generated by an automated advice engine that considers how to meet the needs and aspirations of consumers using their available liquid and illiquid assets', the FCA sandbox notice said at the time.