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Provider-backed platforms lead the way in Europe

UBS, Allfunds, Credit Suisse and Cofunds have emerged as the biggest platform providers across Europe.

Research from The Platforum, published last week, looked at the 10 largest platform markets in Europe. The UK is the biggest with £298bn held across all platforms at the end of the third quarter of  2013.

The top 10 providers across Europe based on assets under administration are: UBS Fondcenter, Allfunds, Credit Suisse Fund Lab, Cofunds, BNP Paribas, Fidelity FundsNetwork, Société Générale, State Street, Swisscanto and Fund Channel. 

The report notes that all 10 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 L&G in May last year. International Financial Data Services previously held a 24 per cent stake, with Threadneedle, Newhouse Capital Partners and Jupiter also formerly 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 and cross-border fund net sales were particularly strong. 

“This 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.”

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