InvestmentsJun 12 2019

What advisers want from their platform

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What advisers want from their platform
ByDavid Thorpe

Annuities and income drawdown are the products that advisers most want on their platforms, according to research from Core Data.

Core Data spoke with 1,000 advisers, with 37 per cent stating drawdown and annuity products were most important for them, ahead of full Sipps and other pension products, which 23 per cent regarded as most important.

This made a change from last year, when full Sipps came out top. Demand for annuities and drawdown had increased from 21.5 per cent last year, while demand for full Sipps stayed flat.

Craig Phillips, head of international at CoreData, said: "Income drawdown continues to be popular in the wake of pension freedoms, but savers still value the certainty of annuities, while fixed term annuities offer a halfway house of security and flexibility and can therefore play an important role in retirement planning.

"Meanwhile, Sipps have been subject to a rising number of complaints and regulatory scrutiny and this could be holding back demand."

A further 11 per cent of advisers thought the provision of discretionary fund management (DFM) services were most important to them to have on their platform.

But ETFs suffered a dent in demand (6.6 per cent vs. 11.4 per cent in 2018) and particularly among advisers focused on mass affluent clients (4.6 per cent vs. 14.1 per cent in 2018). Mass affluent are investors with £100,000 to £250,000 in net assets.

Advisers also said service levels were key to their satisfaction with a platform, which may be the result of the travails of a number of well known platforms during 2018.

This metric rose from 6 per cent to 24 per cent during the year, while fees and costs were deemed most important by just 3 per cent of the advisers with whom Core Data spoke.

Mr Phillips said: "This suggests that at a time when platforms are increasingly adding more tools and bells and whistles,
what advisers really want is for them to get the basics right and deliver decent service."

The report also underscored the need for platforms to have reliable and strong cybersecurity defences.

Seven in 10 advisers said they increasingly considered whether a platform has adequate cybersecurity systems and controls in place when choosing a provider, Core Data found.

Core Data has carried out this survey for the past decade. The survey is not commissioned by any platform.

Products or services advisers would like to see on platforms:

Annuities and income drawdown (37.4 per cent

) Full Sipps and/or other complex pension products (23.2 per cent )

Discretionary investment management services (11.1 per cent )

Life insurance and protection products (10.1 per cent)

Corporate adviser products such as group risk (7.4 per cent)

ETFs (6.6 per cent )

General insurance products (1.5 per cent )