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Advisers use just a third of platform functions

Advisers are using less than a third of available platform functionality, according to Zurich intermediary sales director Richard Howells.

He believes most of the bells and whistles available on current platforms are too complicated and are not wanted or needed by most IFAs.
Howells says Zurich’s platform, due to launch at the end of this year, will offer a simpler solution.

He says: “A lot of platforms are like television controls at the moment. They have 40 buttons but how many of those do people actually use?

Probably 25 to 30 per cent. Zurich’s platform is about making things simple. In general, bits of IT do not get used to anywhere near full capacity and in that case it is wastage.”

Howells says a significant cost has been spent developing tools that advisers are not interested in using.

Zurich was gathering IFA perspectives on its platform as part of its 2011 IFA Advisory Panel.

Threesixty commercial director Phil Young says: “It is probably less than 30 per cent of the functionality used regularly. A lot of content on platforms are seldom used because of practical issues.

“For example, there may be an attitude-to-risk tool on a platform but the attitude to risk should be assessed before assets are put on platform.”
Investment Quorum chief executive Lee Robertson says: “One IFA’s useless tool could be gold to another but a lot of platforms add bells and whistles in an attempt to cover up things they are not doing well.”

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