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UK platforms good to grow

The UK platform market has a higher potential for growth than the more established Australian market, even in the current market conditions, according to new entrant Macquarie.

Managing director Jason Huddy, who took part in a debate at the Threesixty conference in London last week, said that in Australia, 90 cents in the adviser dollar is on platforms. This compares with about 30p in the adviser pound in the UK.

He added: “The UK market has a different level of maturity but the growth trajectory is much more rapid.”

Transact sales director Malcolm Murray said there is still room for more players to enter the market: “There are still new entrants to come before we see any consolidation.” Novia chief executive Bill Vasilieff added that about 10-15 per cent of advisers in the market are linked to a platform already but that there is still movement in the market.

Standard Life Wrap chief executive Geoff Towers said the retail distribution review will have an effect on the charging structure of platforms.

He said: “A calculated annual management charge is essential under the RDR. If not, what are you going to charge when you rebalance, for example?”

Towers said it is clearer for advisers and clients to have one annual fee rather than charging for each change as and when they occur.

CDC Wealth Management director Phil Cain says: “I agree that there is huge potential growth for platforms in the UK as they are so important for managing high-net-worth clients, even if they are not the answer to all ills.”

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