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Guide to platform due diligence

    Guide to platform due diligence


    In the space of 15 years, the number of investment platforms in the UK has increased from zero to more than 30.

    Due diligence can be a time consuming process and depends on the suitability for individual clients, which can cause conflict when faced with which platform provides the most efficiencies to a business.

    Clearly the technology that underpins a platform is one of the fundamental elements of the overall proposition. Other key considerations include the scale, robustness, service and the products an adviser is looking for to meet client needs.

    This guide will explain how to make sure the platforms you choose are fit for purpose today and tomorrow, getting the right fit for your clients, as well as spelling out what the Financial Conduct Authority expects from you in relation to due diligence.

    Pricing is also a key consideration for platforms, and this will be considered as part of a full guide next month exploring changes to models ahead of the regulator’s rebate ‘sunset clause’ next year.

    Contributors to this guide are: Stephen Wynne-Jones, head of marketing at Cofunds; Chris Smeaton, director of marketing at James Hay; Michael Barrett, investment platform expert at Old Mutual Wealth; Barry Neilson, business development director at Nucleus; Paul Boston, sales director of Novia; and Alistair Wilson, head of retail platform strategy at Zurich.

    In this guide


    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. How many platforms does Mr Neilson think advisory firms now use?

    2. What two supermarkets does Mr Wilson compare high quality and low quality platforms to?

    3. What does Mr Neilson say should be the objective of the first stage of due diligence?

    4. What does Mr Wynne-Jones say is important for assessing a platform’s long-term commitment to the industry?

    5. How often does Mr Smeaton say ongoing reviews should be conducted?

    6. What has happened to the number of technology providers for platforms over the last five years, according to Mr Wilson?

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