Established platforms lag newcomers


By Megan Tran

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Investment Trends’ 2017 Planner Technology Report reveals that while financial planners’ needs are evolving, technology providers are struggling to keep up.

The study, based on a survey of 533 financial planners, found that despite investments made by technology providers, support for financial planners is lacking among some of the leading platforms.

It revealed that planners had become unsettled with their current product suites, with 75 per cent open to switching their primary platform.

The common reasons to consider doing this included lower admin fees, nominated by 47 per cent of those who responded, or a wider platform feature set, which 28 per cent said was their key consideration.

Among the 47 per cent who were seeking lower admin fees, functionality enhancements remained a driver of potential switching as 82 per cent said they would switch platforms for functionality enhancements.

Investment Trends research director Recep Peker said many financial planners felt their technology partners could be doing more to empower them.

“While planners traditionally use platforms for their efficiency benefits, the vast majority are open to alternative solutions that play a greater role in advice delivery, from the back office to the front,” Peker said.

“Planners envision the next generation of platforms to be feature rich, providing them support with plan production, modelling tools and interactive client review tools.”

He said new platforms were starting to be taken seriously against seasoned players and planners’ rapport with their current platform providers would be tested.

“CFS FirstChoice and BT Wrap are the two most widely used platforms among planners, with 32 per cent and 29 per cent using each for their new client inflows respectively,” he said.

However, newer platforms Netwealth, Hub24 and BT Panorama were steadily extending their market share.

“Netwealth, Hub24 and BT Panorama are among the most technologically advanced platforms in the market, delivering not only efficient admin and online functionality, but also a wide ranging proposition that includes good portfolio management tools and a wide product range,” he said.

Netwealth and Hub24 were equally rated the top platforms in the market by overall satisfaction, with Hub24 managing director Andrew Alcock saying the result derived from the platform being built specifically for the changing needs of financial advisers.

“These strong satisfaction levels are testament to the quality of our market leading platform technology and the tools and support we provide advisers to help them to grow their business and engage their clients,” Alcock said.

“These latest milestones are the result of ongoing support from advisers, clients, shareholders and staff. We will continue to invest in our technology to cater to the future of the wealth management industry.”

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