View more on these topics

Dealing with the onslaught of platform due diligence


For quite some time now I have been talking to advisers about the amount of confusion I hear from firms in tackling platform due diligence. 

Fresh from the stage at our annual conference, FCA technical specialist Rory Percival again reiterated his four stage process guidance for advisers – “do the thinking, make sure it’s robust, write it down and check it works”.

“This is the clarity we have been crying out for,” I overheard one IFA mutter last Wednesday.

Do the thinking: Each firm has different platform needs for the business and their clients. Some firms tell me they really value face to face BDM support, others don’t want to be bothered by anyone from the platform unless something needs fixing. For some the measure is purely cost with no requirement for any tools or gizmos.

By doing the thinking, the business draws a list of its own key priorities. Identifying the “must haves” is stage one of your process of assessing platform providers. Once you have identified the must-have criteria it is likely the number of providers will be much shorter before applying stage two – digging a little deeper.

Making sure it’s robust. Most providers tell you their proposition is the best; providers’ glossy due diligence materials say what you would expect them to say. Stage two is all about lifting the bonnet, what are the actual charges going to look like for my client portfolios, does the rebalancing work/do I need rebalancing, what is the range of funds and tax wrappers available and does this map to my client proposition?

Platform pricing is a minefield especially with some unbundling their charges and a move to clean share classes. Download our latest Guide to Platform Pricing – it’s independent and available free of charge to all advisers via our website.

But don’t just take our word for it. Advisers must be confident the funds, trading, tax wrappers and portfolio sizes being illustrated are representative of your own clients. It doesn’t hurt to ask the shortlisted providers to provide bespoke pricing illustrations to you for a “typical” client portfolio.

As I sign off with thoughts of due diligence in mind, I would like to draw attention to the northern leg of the everso popular Platforum adviser roadshows in November – Edinburgh on 20th and Manchester on 27th.

A half day packed with great speakers and includes Rory Percival, who will be taking open questions from the floor. The agenda is available on our website however places are limited so if you would like to reserve a space please contact myself or

Emma Napier is head of adviser relations at The Platforum

Click here for all the news from last week’s Platforum conference 



Sharon Bowles: Electing Ukip could cause more ‘ragbag’ EU rules

Economic and Monetary Affairs committee chair Sharon Bowles is warning a strong anti-EU vote in next year’s European Parliament elections could lead to more extreme EU policy-making decisions. Speaking at a press conference in London today, Liberal Democrat MEP Bowles said an increase in the number of anti-EU MEPs from fringe parties could lead to […]


FSCS confirms new interim levy for investment advisers as claims soar

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has confirmed that it will raise an interim levy on investment intermediaries before June 2014, following the default of life settlement firm Catalyst. Earlier this month the FCA censured Catalyst Investment Group for “recklessly misleading” investors when promoting bonds issued by Luxembourg-based life settlement vehicle ARM Asset Backed Securities. Catalyst, which […]


DWP: Too much transparency could damage auto-enrolment

The Government has warned disclosing too much information on pension costs and charges could increase auto-enrolment opt-outs. The Department for Work and Pensions has today published proposals to cap charges on schemes used for auto-enrolment. The DWP is considering introducing a charge cap of 1 per cent, 0.75 per cent or a two-tier “comply or […]


Ex-Co-op chief defends ‘misleading’ balance sheet claims

Former Co-op Bank chief executive Barry Tootell has denied accusations by MPs that the bank “sailed too close to the wind” on the amount it held in capital reserves and that it misled the market about its financial position. The Treasury select committee is carrying out an inquiry into the deal to sell 632 Lloyds […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm