View more on these topics

Novia boss: Platform ‘consolidation’ is just large provider failure


A failure in large providers’ business models has sparked recent platform acquisitions, according to Novia chief executive Bill Vasilieff.

Vasilieff says deals such as Aegon’s acquisition of Cofunds and Standard Life’s purchase of Axa do not reflect a consolidation trend but unrealistic expectations at large firms.

He says: “This year has been quite difficult for some platforms and the news around two of the big ones – Cofunds and Axa – has been significant. But I don’t think there is a consolidation trend. I think what’s happened is that some of the big players had very high expectations on profits and they have failed. Now they are exiting the market. Also, some people don’t see platforms as businesses in their own right; they just see them as a way of getting funds.”

Many legacy life companies have pulled out of the market as platforms have evolved, with around 70 folding since the birth of platforms, according to Vasilieff.

He says: “Only a few are left and some have adopted some platform businesses.

“So I don’t think the platform space is overcrowded as many say. It is a big market, probably the fourth biggest in the world for investments.”

Novia had assets under administration of £4.1bn as at Q2 of 2016.

For Money Marketing’s full interview with Bill Vasilieff, see pages 22 and 23 of this week’s magazine and our profile online this Friday


Platforum head of intermediary research Miranda Seath

Platform focus: Can Novia continue to steal a march on its rivals?

Novia continue to steal a march on many of its peers by forging ahead with bringing discretionary fund managers onto its platform It offers access to a wide range of DFMs: currently 60 and counting. In this week’s platform focus, we take a look at why it has been so successful in attracting DFMs and […]


Novia posts £779k loss as development arm sell-off bites

Novia has reported a pre-tax loss of £779,237 for 2014, which it blames on the sale of its platform development arm to Aegon. The result compares to a profit of £7.8m in 2013. Aegon announced the acquisition of Novia Investment Services for £7m in December 2013. Novia had previously built and administered platform services for […]

Ian McKenna: Novia has an eye for simplicity

Delivering information in ways consumers can easily understand requires a very different set of skills to providing data to professional advisers. The first, and in many cases second, generation of platform consumer portals tended to be content-rich but far from visually appealing or user-friendly. An increasing number of platforms are recognising this and building simple-to-use […]

Why your clients need some tough love

In any relationship that matters, professional or personal, you should be upfront with someone if you think they’re making a decision or doing something they might later regret. Being honest with someone and having their best interests at heart, however hard the message, is key to building trust in any relationship. So how does this […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I heartily agree with Bill, indeed you can take this line of thinking further. It seems to me that there are two business strategies at play in the platform market. The first are those who are building viable, sustainable and profitable businesses which partner with advisers to help them grow more successful as well. The second are speculators who aim to grow assets under management as fast as possible with the hope that size = profit somewhere down the line, to whom advisers are one of many ‘distribution’ channels to be exploited. The main 2016 consolidations are a couple of classic failed speculators. the other dividing line between the two tends to be the “new kids on the block” and the legacy companies (mainly the old life co’s) targeting market share at any price but overpaying dramatically in the process. Hopefully reasonable IFA due diligence can distinguish between the two.

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