Advisers flag concerns with big platform players

Advisers flag concerns with big platform players

Advisers have reported signs of stress in several platforms and expect a considerable reduction in the number of wraps this year.

Research and due diligence tool provider AdviserAsset surveyed more than 1,000 adviser firms with more than 8,300 advisers.

The poll revealed adviser concern that some platforms are significantly more at risk of major change than others, including some of the biggest names in the business: Cofunds, Axa Elevate, Parmenion, Seven IM, Wealthtime, Alliance Trust and Novia.

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Advisers were least worried about risks at Aviva, Old Mutual, Funds Network and Standard Life.

The study also found that adviser sentiment has already had a significant impact on their behaviour around platforms over the past 12 to 18 months, with nearly a third of advisers considering stopping dealing with at least one of the platforms they currently use.

A quarter have already stopped doing business with at least one or more of the platforms they were using, and nearly half have increased or changed the scope of their due diligence.

Some 20 per cent have increased the frequency of their platform due diligence.

Platforms have hit out against AdviserAssets’ findings.

Bill Vasilieff, Novia’s chief executive, dismissed the research as “amateurish”, adding that the larger platforms have been most involved in sale speculation to date.

David Tiller, head of adviser propositions and strategy at Standard Life, said it is clear from the research that advisers are increasingly concerned about the long-term sustainability of a number of platforms.

He said: “Advisers have the right to be confident their platform partner will support them at a time when more people need advice than ever before.”