Research from The Platforum has set out the 10 largest platform markets in Europe. The UK is the biggest with €298bn held across all platforms as at the end of Q3 2013.
The top ten providers across Europe based on assets under administration are UBS Fondcenter, Allfunds, Credit Suisse Fund Lab, Cofunds, BNP Paribas, Fidelity FundsNetwork, Societe Generale, State Street, Swisscanto and Fund Channel.
The report notes that all are owned by banks, life companies or asset managers, which it says “brings into question the future viability of global platforms as standalone businesses or independents.”
Cofunds was acquired by Legal and General in May last year. International Financial Data Services previously held a 24 per cent stake, with Threadneedle, Newhouse Capital Partners and Jupiter also all previously holding stakes.
The Platforum managing director Holly Mackay says: “European open architecture platform assets grew by 25 per cent over the year to Q3 2013. 2013 was a year when cross-border fund net sales were particularly strong. This cross-border growth is replicated by those international platforms, including Allfunds, Fund Channel and UBS Fondcenter, working in multiple jurisdictions, which grew by 39 per cent as a group. Platforms are scaling up and last year was a story of the big, the international and the brand.”
Clear IFA director Howard Bullock says: “It is logical to assume the platform market will consolidate. But it would be a great shame if we lost some of the smaller independent players which exist outside the big institutions.”