Aegon has previewed the new platform screens of both its own fund supermarket and Cofunds, the platform it acquired in August 2016.
The project to combine the best of both the Cofunds and Aegon platform propositions now has a significant focus on user experience, according to the provider's bosses, and this was the theme for a recent advisory board meeting.
According to a spokesman for Aegon, wire frames and user journeys for the enhanced platform are well advanced and the in-house design team are now working with technology provider Dunstan Thomas and their adaptive portal software.
The aim of this work is to create a simple, intuitive platform that takes service to the next level and sets the benchmark for what bosses describe as "a modern user experience."
With work to date focussing on the IT infrastructure and processes which underpin it, Aegon revealed the next stage will concentrate on the look and feel of the enhanced platform.
The new platform screens, which Aegon confirmed early versions of have been seen by the advisory board, aim for a modern look that is simpler and intuitive to use.
Aegon bosses confirmed they will now continue to work with Dunstan Thomas to modernise user journeys and enable the platform site for use on PCs, mobile and tablets.
Mark Till, chief distribution and marketing officer of Aegon UK, said: “We’ve been working with Dunstan Thomas for many years and are delighted they’ll be supporting us as we combine the best of both the Aegon and Cofunds platforms and take service to a new level.
“Across the platform market there’s been insufficient investment in the user experience and from the advisers we speak to and the results of our survey, this has the potential to become a point of differentiation for those companies that get this right.
"To date, the focus of our integration work has been on the underlying systems and processes that underpin the platform, but we felt it vital we previewed what the service will look like with our advisory board, gathering feedback on the design and core user journeys.
"We’re pleased with the reaction it received, and in the months to come, we’ll be sharing our specific plans more widely. Our aim is to create the most user friendly experience in the platform market.”
On acquiring Cofunds for £140m from Legal & General, Aegon stated they expected to "generate £60m of annualized cost synergies by moving the Cofunds business onto the state-of-the-art Aegon technology, and by delivering efficiencies as a result of removing duplication across the businesses.”
Darius McDermott, managing director at Chelsea Financial Services, which uses the Cofunds platform, said that while he is generally positive about changes that lead to a better user experience “Key to us are also the increased functionality (like having investment trusts on the platform).”