BT Panorama's battle to ‘win advisers’ hearts and minds’
The decision by Westpac to retain the BT Panorama platform should be welcomed by the industry, according to platform researcher Recep Peker.
Speaking to Money Management at the time, BT CEO Matthew Rady said: “It took a lot longer than anyone would have seen as ideal, but we felt it was important to do it right and we had a lot of interest which was exciting but we couldn’t reach an agreement.”
According to the latest Adviser Ratings Landscape Report, BT Panorama has the highest penetration among advisers followed by CFS FirstChoice and HUB24.
“As a consequence of that, Westpac sees an amazing opportunity to invest in the business for years to come and recognise the strength we have in the market,” Rady added.
Peker, who previously worked at Investment Trends for 11 years and now runs platform research site SuitabilityHub, said the decision has cleared up a lot of uncertainty for advisers.
“When we spoke to advisers, the potential divestment was something that was holding people back from using BT Panorama because they were worried they would migrate onto the platform then have to migrate off the platform all over again if it was acquired.
“There is greater confidence out there about BT Panorama now a decision has been made and that will be good for the platform and advisers will be more welcoming when it comes to considering using it.
“This is their chance to be focused, BT has the confidence to go hard on the functionality and making advisers happy again now that uncertainty is gone so they can be focused.
“The competition with other platforms will intensify. BT is back, and it brings more competition to win advisers’ hearts and minds.”
He said BT has already made improvements to the platform since the Westpac announcement, including increased efficiencies, improved client engagement, improved design, digital signatures and faster approvals.
It has also welcomed back Russell Brinckley from FNZ as head of strategy and development and appointed Jason Brown as head of the platform’s 70-strong distribution team.
However, chief strategy and product officer Kathy Vincent will be departing at the end of the year after five years to join superannuation fund Australian Retirement Trust.