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Altus: Re-platforming set to drive more transfers

As 2018 gets truly started, now feels like a good time to take a look back at what happened in 2017 on the transfers and re-registrations market. 2017 proved quite an eventful year, with an increase in the number of participants and the volume of transfers.

Increase in participants…

The number of organisations supporting the TeX legal framework and open standards transfers has increased over the year to almost universal coverage in the adviser platforms, direct to consumer and execution only platforms, wealth managers/private banks, custodians/intermediate unit holders and fund managers market segments.

Five providers offer different solutions that all successfully interoperate across two versions of the open transfer standards, to allow all participants to transfer electronically.  A snapshot of the main market segments shows that:

  • 20 adviser platforms, representing 94 per cent of AUA, support electronic transfers
  • 19 of the top 20 adviser platforms support electronic transfers
  • 13 adviser platforms support the latest version (v3.0) of the transfer standards, representing 67 per cent of AUA
  • 24 D2C and Execution Only Platforms support electronic transfers
  • 9 of the top 10 D2C providers support electronic transfers
  • 19 support V3.0 of the transfer standards
  • 28 Wealth Managers and Private Banks support open electronic transfers
  • 24 support v3.0 of the transfer standards
  • 5 custodians/intermediate unit holders support electronic re-registration
  • 96 fund managers represent 86.2 per cent of FUM of UK retail funds now support electronic re-registration. Almost all readily available UK retail funds can be re-registered electronically

And a big increase in volumes…

During the first half of the year the volume of Isa and GIA transfers remained fairly constant, just edging up every time a new counter party started supporting electronic transfers.  From late summer however, we began to see significant increases in transfer volumes.  In the second half of the year alone, volumes increased by 70 per cent between July and December, with the bulk of the increase in the last three months of the year, and we have also seen an increase in in-specie pensions transfers.

So why has there been such a huge increase in volumes? Some of it can be apportioned to a general increase in number of new Isas and the growth in the number of electronic counter parties. However, we believe the majority of the increase can be attributed to the number of platform migrations (re-platforming) and the disturbance these projects cause. Given the planned platform migrations and full re-platforming projects planned for 2018 we can expect this level of transfer activity and volume to continue.

Howard Finnegan is sales and marketing director at Altus

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