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Aifa launches wrap guide

Aifa is launching an industry guide to platforms, wraps and the move towards open architecture IT supported business models.

This new edition of Viewpoint, sponsored by James Hay, covers all the basic platform and technology issues and is intended to help IFAs adapt to new industry developments.

Aifa believes the lack of clear and common terminology is causing confusion and hindering the development of wraps and platforms.

Its new guide will try to explain the difference, and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of using new services for both IFAs and customers. The guide covers everything from online trading and real time valuations, through to charges and financial planning.

Aifa deputy director general Fay Goddard says: “Platforms and wraps seem to hold out a promise of a golden future. Advisers can offer more holistic advice and their incomes will be higher and more stable. Clients will have a clearer understanding of their overall financial position and, in time, a better appreciation of the industry.

“But the present reality is a long way from this ideal. For starters, there is a considerable divergence of views as to what wraps are and how they should be used. Furthermore, growing numbers of wrap providers compete for business in a relatively small, although fast growing, portion of the IFA market. Few IFAs have made the structural changes to their businesses that many wrap advocates believe are needed.”

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