Platform impacts on planners

A successful acquisition of AXA Asia Pacific by National Australia Bank (NAB) would have a far more significant impact on the use of platforms by financial planners than a successful bid by AMP Limited, according to new research released by Wealth Insights.

The research, released to Money Management, reveals that a successful NAB bid would give the combined entity a reach into 32 per cent of advisers, while a successful AMP bid would give it a reach into just 22 per cent of advisers.

This compares to the reach of 49 per cent enjoyed by the Westpac controlled platforms, and 42 per cent for the Commonwealth Bank-controlled platforms.

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Wealth Insights managing director Vanessa McMahon said her company’s further research had also raised serious questions about earlier Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) analysis relating to the importance of the AXA North platform in the non-aligned space.

She said that contrary to some of the analysis indicated by the ACCC, the Wealth Insights research suggested that virtually no non-aligned advisers were using the AXA North platform as their main vehicle for sophisticated, high-net-worth investors with more complex needs.

As well, McMahon said that advisers had indicated they would be unlikely to switch platforms to meet the needs of more complex clients in the next two or three years because of the restrictions imposed by Approved Product Lists, the risk of losing familiarity, the tax implications for clients, volume rebates, and buyer-of-last-resort facilities.

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