Planner needs central to platform competition

Planners remain at the focal point of platform success, with the client portal having become the key battleground between the major platform providers, according to the latest analysis from Investment Trends.

Investment Trends 2016 Platform Benchmarking and Competitive Analysis Report, released today, confirmed that relative minnows – netwealth and HUB24 topped the rankings with respect to overall functionality, followed by Colonial First State FirstWrap, Asgard eWrap and Macquarie Wrap.

Commenting on the research, Investment Trends senior analyst, King Loong Choi noted the manner in which the major platform had begun reinvesting in development with the major focus being planner efficiency and client engagement.

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He said the client portal represented a crucial part of the client engagement experience, which in turn, was a key driver of client retention.

“The platform industry has recognised this, with many providers making enhancements to the client portal by broadening the functionality available and improving the experience for clients,” Choi said.

The Investment Trends analysis said netwealth, HUB24 and OneVue provided planner clients the richest feature set, though competition remained intense.

“There is room for providers to further enhance their client portal offerings,” Choi said.

“Platform providers can further differentiate their offerings through the level of investment research available, transactions capabilities, adviser permissions, and navigation and layout.”

“Ease of access is another important aspect of client portals,” he said. “Mobile apps can help facilitate this, but only three of the 19 platforms we reviewed provide this to planner clients – AMP, HUB24 and Macquarie.”

Choi said platform providers could remain competitive in the current environment by addressing planners’ key challenges.

“Aside from improving planner efficiency, providers can also better support planners with their client engagement efforts,” he said.

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