Coin unfazed by software competitors

28-Jan-2015

By Julie May

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Claims that a large number of advisers had changed or were planning to change their financial planning software provider were grossly exaggerated, Rubik’s newly appointed chief executive, Iain Dunstan, said yesterday.

In his first interview since his promotion to the top job last week, Dunstan told financialobserver he was unaware of any notable variation across the different providers when it came to market share.

He said he expected any movement to or from Rubik’s own software platform, Coin, in addition to Xplan, Midwinter or new market entrant Decimal, was likely to be minimal.

“Rumours about the demise of client bases have been greatly exaggerated,” he said, emphasising he did not expect market share among providers to change substantially throughout 2015.

“It’s a tough space to break into,” he said of the financial planning software sector.

“The barriers for entry are huge [and] while new technology is coming out all the time, data migration is a massive exercise as is learning entirely new systems.

“Even if someone has a small advantage for a while, [our client base is made up of] 12,000 planners so it’s not hard to make up for this reasonably quickly when you have the size and the scale.”

He said the industry could be comforted by the fact the big providers would be around for another 10 to 20 years.

“Planners have to be cognisant of risk and compliance,” he said, pointing to Coin and Xplan dominating the market with more than 70 per cent of advisers being tied to one of the big two.

Despite Coin’s size, Rubik was not focused on a turf war or boosting its market share as the major focus was increasing penetration with advisers it already had established relationships with, he said.

He pointed to scaled advice opportunities being the key focus for the group, with scaled advice to account for 70 per cent of advice opportunities over the next two to three years.

“The number of people seeking comprehensive advice probably won’t change too much, but scaled advice is going to open up the sector dramatically and essentially create a whole new market,” he said.

Outside of scaled advice, Rubik would fully integrate Coin and Provisio over the next 18 months, with integration rather than acquisitions on the agenda for the foreseeable future, he said.

“It’s about keeping our head down, keeping our clients happy and not blowing our own trumpet,” he said, adding he would measure his performance on how the business had fared in 12 months’ time.

Rubik acquired the Coin institutional software business from Macquarie in August 2012 and in May 2013 purchased the related Coin independent financial adviser contracts. The acquisition of scaled advice provider Provisio was completed in June 2013.

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