From Adviser Guide: Picking a Platform part 2
Q: How important is the platform’s ownership?
It is key for an adviser to know the platform is sustainable, according to Jeremy Mugridge, platform specialist of Skandia.
If the platform is owned by a large established company, which is profitable and is committed to the platform market, then Mr Mugridge said there is less chance of the platform being wound up (and advisers having to go through the lengthy process of moving all their clients to another platform).
Also, Mr Mugridge said the commitment of the parent company to the platform can often be a sign of how much the company is willing to invest in developing the platform over other priorities within the company.
This includes investing in new tools and services that will enhance the adviser and customer experience.
Bill Vasilieff, chief executive of Novia, said he believed the most important factor was the platform being “fit for purpose” as well as the platform being profitable.
He said: “If a platform does not fit these either of these criteria then it will not succeed.”
Alastair Conway, sales and marketing director of Cofunds, said ownership was very important.
He said he had yet to find a downside of independence.
Without independence, he said there may be the risk of bias towards a platform owner’s funds and products, a restricted range of funds and wrappers and for platforms owned by companies with bigger priorities – like fund management arms or advice arms - the risk that investment will be pulled or reallocated to a business area deemed more important by the parent company.