View more on these topics

Is your platform delivering on its promises?

Following our investigation last week into how advisers are approaching fund selection, this week we move down the value chain to examine platform choice.

Given platforms are such an integral part of an adviser’s business, firms want consistency of outcomes for clients and consistency of service for themselves above all else. And rightly so. Unfortunately for some advisers, given the level of dealmaking we have seen in the platform market over the last two years, a stable platform is but a mirage shimmering in the distance.

This week’s shock ditching of IFDS by Old Mutual Wealth in favour of FNZ just goes to show how even “done deals” can quickly become undone.

When it comes to platform due diligence, there are things that advisers can either objectively measure or that they have an intuitive gut feel for: factors such as cost, usability and service for example. Then there is the criteria that is more intangible. To a large extent, advisers have to take platforms at their word on claims relating to commitment to the market, financial stability and profitability.

One of the findings to come out from our research is the majority of advisers say they have not changed their platform since the RDR came in over four years ago. This may be because of the upheaval involved in moving clients to a new platform, but it may also be down to the fact advisers tend to be adding to their existing platform repertoire rather than replacing it wholesale.

Many respondents say they have not changed platforms because there is no need to – they are happy with their existing provider. The unanswered question is: are clients equally as happy? It is good to see some advisers are voting with their feet. Those who have chosen to abandon their previous platform cite issues such as failure to evolve or simply poor administration coupled with bad customer service (a deadly combination if ever there was one).

Platforms are about custody of assets, but wrapped up within that they are about delivering an efficient service for advisers together with providing a jumping off ground from which clients can engage with their investments, and with their adviser. Service and the fundamental ability to work properly are key facets of a platform proposition. If your platform is not delivering on these most basic of principles, you have to question what your client is paying them for.

Natalie Holt is editor of Money Marketing



Platform pressure: Is adviser due diligence up to scratch?

Advisers’ platform due diligence has been put in the spotlight as concerns have been raised about whether segmentation policies are benefiting clients. Last week, Money Marketing reported exclusive data on how advisers select funds and carry out due diligence on the products they choose. This week, our survey results reveal how advisers are picking platforms […]


Old Mutual Wealth: Why we pulled out of IFDS deal

Chief exec Paul Feeney says project has been difficult but costs proved “unacceptable” Old Mutual Wealth chief executive Paul Feeney has admitted the company’s replatforming project has been “a difficult journey” as he sets out why IFDS has been dropped as its technology provider. Old Mutual Wealth announced this morning it had terminated its contract […]


Fears grow over advisers’ investment due diligence

Concerns are being raised advisers are not carrying out robust due diligence when it comes to fund selection, with insufficient attention paid to asset management charges. Research by Money Marketing suggests many advisers carry out their investment due diligence themselves, but the findings also point to an over-reliance on rating agencies and marketing material from […]

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

Paul Fidell, Head of Business Development (Investments), writes about one of the primary challenges for those involved in estate planning. He looks at dealing with investment uncertainty in these low growth, low inflation but still volatile investment conditions. Protection of capital, to leave something for beneficiaries, is a fundamental objective of many people’s plans for […]


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. @Natalie All the due diligence in the world would not have foreseen Macquarie withdraw from the market. Ticked all the boxes but came and went. Aviva have come and gone and come back again – who’s to say it won’t do so again. AXA for years said it supported the adviser community and would be a market leader. Where is it now? I would suggest not one platform can guarantee its future. Some have business plans that include an IPO, others deep pockets and will continually throw money at its platform to maintain market share come what may; others will seek to sell as costs are too high to continue. But isn’t that the way of the world?

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