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Software firms hit back at monolithic accusation

Capita and Vertex have defended their sales practices after support service provider Threesixty accused them of a monolithic approach to technology that restricts IFAs’ options.

Threesixty says the integration strategies of big software houses could lead to an unwelcome restriction on IFAs’ choice of software. It says Vertex and Capita have recently bought firms and warns there is a danger for IFAs that decisions will be based “more on politics than on the best interests of the IFAs they service”.

Threesixty partner Phil Young says: “There is certainly value in technology firms providing an integrated service to IFAs but it is vital that they do not take a monolithic attitude to technology.”

He says some of the software packages have provided value for IFAs as stand-alone products for years but some advisers feel they are being railroaded into using firms that they would not choose so they can access a complete, integrated service.

But Capita Enabler development director Stuart Erskine says: “By buying a number of small software suppliers, Capita has provided independence, financial strength and vast development resource that will ultimately lead to an improved service proposition, expanded product coverage to IFAs, opening up new income streams to advisers.”

Capita recently announced a multi-provider, multi-product wrap being developed initially with Bankhall,.

Vertex life pensions and distribution managing director David Child says: “Threesixty members are strong supporters of The Exchange’s technology. We have an integration with 1st and it does link with our portal but it links with other portals exactly the same. We work with the IFAs and respond to their needs, giving them what they ask for.”


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