Should platforms collaborate with planning software providers?

Platforms and planning software firms are going to have to collaborate if they are to adequately meet the future needs of financial planners.

That is one of the key bottom lines of the latest Investment Trends Planner Technology Report which also revealed that Netwealth has taken the lead in terms of platform satisfaction followed by CFS FirstChoice, while AdviserLogic leads in terms of planning software satisfaction.

The top line finding of the Investments Trends report was that financial planners were seeking to strengthen their client relationships by expanding their digital engagement channels, something underlined by the fact that traditional face-to-face client review meetings and were now being augmented by e-mail newsletters and online access to portfolios.

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But Investment Trends research director, Recep Peker the vast majority of planners (88 per cent) were keen to use a wider range of digital-based methods to interact, update and disseminate information to their clients.

“The younger generation of planners are driving the move to an interactive digital client experience, with many already conducting client meetings online,” Peker said “They expect tablet enabled client meetings and the use of interactive modelling tools during client meetings to become the norm.”

On the question of platforms and planning software firms working more collaboratively, the Investment Trends report said that had been a continuing decline in industry satisfaction with platform and planning software providers with 94 per cent of planners saying they would switch their current systems to access improved tools.

“While planners predominantly prefer to access improved tools through their planning software, many are willing to change the platforms they use to access functionality that traditionally sits on planning software, including RoAs (31 per cent), SoAs (27 per cent) and modelling tools (26 per cent).

“To lift planner satisfaction, greater integration is required between the various systems used to deliver and execute advice, and a deeper collaboration between platforms and planning software providers is an important step to achieving this goal,” Peker said.

The Investment Trends research found that Netwealth had taken a clear lead in overall planner satisfaction, with 64 per cent of their primary users rating their overall satisfaction as ‘very good’. This was followed by CFS FirstChoice and HUB24, with 55 per cent and 42 per cent rating them as ‘very good’ overall, respectively.

The top five platforms by overall satisfaction are:

1.           Netwealth

2.           CFS FirstChoice

3.           HUB24

4.           MyNorth

5.           BT Panorama & Macquarie Wrap (joint 5th)

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