Most planners ready to switch platforms

Platform providers should not be feeling too sanguine with new research from Investment Trends signalling that a significant majority of planners are ready and willing to switch their primary platform provider in search of better service.

Just weeks out from Money Management’s Fintech, Platforms and Wraps Conference on the Gold Coast, Investment Trends has released its 14th 2017 Planner Technology Report which has found that despite all the investment made by platform providers, most planners think their support needs are not being sufficiently met.

It said planners were becoming increasingly unsettled with their product suite and that, as a result, 74 per cent were open to switching their primary platform in pursuit of either lower platform fees (47 per cent) or a wider platform feature set (28 per cent).

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The Investment Trends research found that even among the 47 per cent of respondents who were seeking lower administration fees, functionality enhancements remained a significant driver of potential switching, with 82 per cent indicating they could be lured to change by functionality enhancements.

Commenting on the findings, Investment Trends research director, Recep Peker said many financial planners felt their technology partners could be doing even 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 back office to the front,” he said. “Planners envision the next generation of platforms to be feature rich, providing them support with plan production, modelling tools and attractive client review tools.”

Peker pointed to the fact that the new platforms were mounting a strong challenge against the established players and that while CFS FirstChoice and BT Wrap were the two most widely used platforms amongst planners, the newer platforms such as Netwealth, HUB24 and BT Panorama were steadily extending their market share.

According to Investment Trends the top five platforms for overall satisfaction were:

  1. Netwealth and HUB24 (joint first)
  2. CFS FirstChoice
  3. BT Wrap
  4. Macquarie Wrap

It found that where adviser software was concerned, XPLAN had maintained its dominant position in the market but that AdviserLogic was steadily making inroads and had secured top spot with respect to overall software satisfaction.

The top three software providers by overall satisfaction score were:

  1. AdviserLogic
  2. Midwinter
  3. XPLAN

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Of course Advisers will recommend clients switch platform if they see benefits for their clients. That is best interest duty fair and square. So whether Platforms deal with Independent or "vertically integrated" AFSLs, this is the true new world order. If you don't perform, you are gone.

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