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Platforms need to deliver to meet needs of advisers

Platforms must do more to respond to the needs of advisers to secure their long-term future, according to a report by Defaqto.

The report, Adviser Platforms in the UK 2008: Stand and Deliver, says many advisers are still in the process of testing out different platforms and are yet to commit to one in particular.

Defaqto says its research into the principals of wrap ownership shows there is a low level of support for life office and IFA co-operative wraps.

There is, however, strong backing for the concept of independent providers.

Only 6 per cent of advisers say a life office would be their preferred platform provider while 11 per cent opt for an investment firm, 4 per cent for a bank and 37 per cent for an independent provider.

Only 2 per cent say that they would prefer an IFA cooperative wrap.

Defaqto says platforms must target adviser networks and support groups which have yet to take a stance on platforms or commit to a preferred partner.

It says providers will need to highlight the positive experiences of those already enjoying the concept of platform technology.

Defaqto principal consultant for pensions and wealth management Matt Ward says: “It would appear from our research that many IFAs are still testing out platform solutions ahead of further commitment to one or two partners.

“It is vitally important for providers to ensure that IFA supporters are clear about the capability of the services and systems on offer.”

In its research, Defaqto looked at adviser business habits, opinion on industry issues and perception of service standards within the platform arena.

Ward says: “Everyone who is involved in the market, whether as an active or potential participant, will benefit from understanding more fully how the market is moving and how propositions are developing.”

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