Interview: St. James's Place, UK IT Industry Awards finalist

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St. James's Place, UK IT Industry Awards finalist
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St. James's Place, UK IT Industry Awards finalist

"At SJP our values drive our behaviours and how we work with Partners, clients, suppliers, our local communities and colleagues."

Information technology has become a vital part of businesses today. It aids all corporate sectors in automating their systems and processes to achieve goals, generate revenue, and lessen the inefficiencies of their work.

The UK IT Industry Awards are the largest and most well-known event in the technology industry calendar. Owned and operated by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and Computing, the awards enjoy a level of professionalism and industry knowledge not seen at other shows.

This year's winners will be announced at a live awards ceremony on Wednesday 9th November in London.

One of those finalists is St. James's Place (SJP), which has reached the shortlist for two categories: Development Team of the Year and IT Apprentice of the Year.

We caught up with James Frew, Divisional Director - Operational Strategy - Business Development and Advice at SJP, to find out what makes his company different from other technology firms.

Frew says SJP exists to give people confidence to create the financial future they want. Those working at SJP do this through face-to-face financial advice. The Automation Team is responsible for leveraging current technologies to support the advice process and help advisers become more productive. It does this via the digital transformation and automation of key processes to create efficiency for internal teams. This gives the teams more time to support higher value tasks to advisers and therefore supports business growth.

Computing: Please provide some background on your company for our readers.

James Frew: SJP is one of the UK's largest, advice-led wealth management companies. We advise our clients through our 4,600-strong Partnership of highly qualified advisers. Money is involved in almost every major decision we make about our lives, our lifestyles, and our future. So our Partners are here to build longstanding relationships so people can confidently make the right financial decisions to live life the way they imagine. SJP advises over 868,000 clients on investments and all aspects of financial services. We have over £150 billion of funds under management.

How is your company different from its peers?

At SJP our values drive our behaviours and how we work with partners, clients, suppliers, our local communities and colleagues. SJP believe inclusion and diversity are vital ingredients to the success of our business and live those values in everything we do. We also take corporate responsibilities seriously. From employee volunteering to how and where we invest client funds, we are committed to being a responsible business. Since 1992 the St. James's Place Charitable Foundation has been supporting those in need, distributing over £110 million in that time.

What one company achievement in the last 12 months are you most proud of?

SJP have won several industry awards for the quality of our Advice and our Advisor Community, however personally my highlight that made me proud to be a part of SJP was to be recognised as a 'Wealth manager doing global good' with the funds we are trusted to look after.

In October 2022 www.positivenews.com said of SJP: "Proving that ESG (environmental, social and governance considerations) and commercial success can go hand-in-hand, wealth management company St James's Place (SJP) hit a record high of £154 billion in funds in 2021. That's despite the firm turning down 60% of prospective fund managers that did not meet their responsible investment standards. Fund managers are monitored specifically on responsible investing and the integration of ESG factors into their decision-making. It's all part of SJP's mission to use money as a force for good."

What are you working on this year?

We are working on several exciting developments in the team this year. We have continued to grow our 'Citizen Development' team, with five additional Salesforce citizen developers being trained and a new cohort about to start their training. We have welcomed a new apprentice to our team who will be trained in Digital Transformation. We have taken on more advanced automation projects and are about to launch our first machine learning-based tool called 'Advice Assistant' which uses advanced analytics and machine learning to support our advisers reduce their administration overhead. Exciting times!

Why are events like the UK IT Industry Awards important to the IT industry?

Awards for our team are a fantastic way to recognise the huge effort and professionalism they have shown not just this year, but every year. While it is easy to say how proud I am of their efforts, it makes a massive difference to be recognised by our peers.

The UK IT Industry Awards will take place on 9th November in London. Click here to view the shortlist and here to book your table.

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