Courtiers Investment Services director of retail John Thierney says IFAs will seek to cut costs and retain more control over the admin of clients’ portfolios by using software firms such as 1st and Plum to create their own platforms.
He says: “I can see that over time the traditional platform providers will be going back to product providers and trying to squeeze them further. A lot of IFAs are becoming their own platforms, indeed, we have done this. It is not rocket science to build these things and more and more IFAs are seeing the benefits of having their own tax wrapper.
“If you go elsewhere, you can get additional charges with life and pension wrappers, which start to make it very expensive for the client.
“If you register through Cofunds or Fidelity Funds Network, you end up losing a bit of control but if you put them through your own platform and are responsible for your own admin, you know what is going on all the time and you can feel confident no one else has got your clients’ details.”
Plum managing director Ann Dempster, says: “IFAs do not have to go down the wrap route entirely. Our software has content enquiry, which allows us to download information from provider so IFAs can do an awful lot of what a wrap provider does using their own systems.”
Cofunds communications consultant Richard Eats says: “We provide support for a whole range of different IFA models and we are building bespoke platforms, notably for AWD Chase de Vere. We are happy however IFAs want to use us, whether it is for part of their process or for all.”