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Wraps and platforms – August 2013



    To many advisers, this is understandably a frustration. Why should platforms and fund supermarkets get more time to sort out offering clean share classes when IFAs have spent years preparing for a professional, commission-free environment?

    It makes life harder for advisers just trying to do a good job. Dealing with rebates and the messy tax situation they bring is a headache that is simply not needed.

    Lots of platforms are making headway with offering clean share classes, but some are not. It is easy to point the finger at fund managers and say they need to be providing clean options, but platforms cannot exempt themselves from responsibility. As long as they keep accommodating dirty share classes, some providers will inevitable leave things until the last moment.

    Although the client should not ultimately be affected, the mixture of fund types adds complexity for advisers that does not need to be there.

    The problem over the next few years is the speed of change. While some platforms will undoubtedly take great strides, there is an overarching concern that some might hang on to operating in the ‘old’ style for as long as possible.

    At the same time, advisers are becoming ever more demanding on levels of service. Time is precious post-RDR; efficiency is key and time cannot be wasted fighting with a service that was created to simplify servicing clients.

    Ultimately, platforms need to get their propositions sorted, and fast. It is not enough to sit back and say ‘we know we will have to change at some point in the next few years’.

    Advisers need to know whether a platform will continue to meet their needs, and those of their clients, both now and in the future. Those that do not will find advisers migrating away, along with their profitable client banks.

    In this special report


    Please answer the six multiple choice questions below in order to bank your CPD. Multiple attempts are available until all questions are correctly answered.

    1. What was the total number of assets under management, according to the survey?

    2. How many platforms offer just read-only access for advised clients?

    3. Which provider saw a 60 per cent increase in the number of clients compared with last year?

    4. When will all new business be subject to the new platform charging rules?

    5. What does TCO stand for?

    6. What has the regulator said about advisers using just one platform to meet all clients’ requirements?

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