netwealth has emerged as the number one platform for functionality, according to the latest Investment Trends 2015 Platform Report with efficiently meeting and supporting adviser needs being the key.
The Platform Report is based on an analysis of 506 key characteristics of each platform and their service offerings, and according to Investment Trends the focus in 2015 identified platform providers' efforts to meet planners' needs.
Investment Trends senior analyst, King Loong Choi, common themes included enhancements to usability, to help improve planner efficiency, and adviser support/communication, to help advisers grow their business.
The report found that AMP's North Online was the platform which made the greatest advances in functionality after it refreshed the entire platform and improved navigation, while it named HUB24 as one of the stand outs when it came to providing advisers control over the information displayed on the adviser dashboard.
It noted that adviser support had also been a key area of focus, with many platforms improving the navigational efficiency of their adviser support pages with BT Wrap, CFS FirstChoice and North Online all launching new adviser support tools, or redesigned previous adviser support pages, to make it easier for advisers to find the information and help they are looking for.
"We have continued to see platforms provide advisers support from new angles rather than just the traditional ‘how to use the platform better' guides," Choi said. "Key areas of focus include providing strategies which advisers can use to enhance their businesses, and the ability for advisers to easily share research/education with clients to help lift their engagement."
He said that helping planners engage clients represented a key battleground for the platforms and that while being able to demonstrate value to clients had always been important to planners, this had grown even further in importance following recent regulatory changes.
The report said that among full-function platforms (those supporting planners advising on a wide range of investments, including direct equities) netwealth climbed to take the number one position in terms of overall functionality.
It said the top-ranking full-function platforms were:
- Colonial First State FirstWrap
- Asgard eWRAP
- MLC Wrap & Navigator
The report said netwealth had also ranked first for transaction tools, decision support tools and online business management tools. It also received the award for best model portfolio functionality.