Platform sector 'can't do the basics'


The fact some platforms are unable to "do the basics" is holding back the future of the whole market, according to Mark Polson.

Speaking on the FTAdviser podcast, Mr Polson, principal at consultancy firm the Lang Cat, said it was "remarkable" a sector which had existed for 20 years was still "running around trying to find its back end".

He said: "Platforms should be extremely simple — they do 4 things: they let you buy stuff, hold it in the way that suits you best, they tell you things about it and then when you're bored, you can sell it."

Article continues after advert

The problem the sector has is the "solidity" isn't there so anything that would "motor it forward" is being held back, according to Mr Polson.

He was discussing the future of the platform space and the challenges currently faced by platforms in the market with Sam Handfield-Jones, co-head of Seccl Technology at Octopus Group.

Mr Handfield-Jones agreed platforms needed to be able to "do the basics well". He added: "If you are supposed to get income on a certain day, you need to be able to get income on that day."

He thought the industry needed to work on integration and customisation as it evolved in the future.

Integration would allow the platform to "talk to" other parts of a firm's business to decrease the amount of manual work for the company, while customisation would help improve the service for younger clients who may expect a more digital service.

Mr Polson and Mr Handfield-Jones also discussed the benefits of 'in-house' and 'outsourced' technology as well as future consolidation in the market.

To listen to the full podcast, click on the link above. FTAdviser's podcasts are available on Acast and are also available to download on iTunes.

Each week, FTAdviser is joined by guests from the industry to discuss pressing industry issues.


What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on fa.letters@ft.com to let us know.