The Lang Cat has launched a platform due diligence service in a bid to make comparing and analysing platforms, alongside their tools and costs, easier for advisers.
The consultancy firm announced today (February 5) the new online product — named the Platform Analyser — would combine the Lang Cat’s data on 25 advised platforms with an interactive tool, built with the product governance regulations in mind.
Advisers can use the tool in various ways, from quick comparisons of different platforms to full due diligence reports which demonstrate a firm’s compliance, according to the Lang Cat.
A subscription to the service also provides monthly and quarterly briefings from consultants at the firm on industry issues as well as regularly updated pricing comparison tables.
The service costs £25 per month or £300 per year.
Terry Huddart, head of proposition at the Lang Cat, said: “We spend a lot of time speaking to advice professionals and they told us they’d like a service to help make choosing the right platform partners for their clients and their business easier.
“Over the last 18 months we’ve been working closely with advisers and planners to build an online tool that combines our unrivalled insight into the advised platform market with interactive due diligence functionality.
“Platform Analyser allows advisers to interrogate our data and create everything from quick features comparisons to all singing, all dancing due diligence reports, documenting the whole process automatically to demonstrate compliance with Prod rules.”
Mr Huddart said initial feedback from advisers had been “incredibly positive” on how much time and effort the service could save, adding the consultancy firm was committed to adding more data and functionality over time.
Peter Chadborn, director at Plan Money, said the proposition was “very attractive”, primarily because the Lang Cat’s knowledge was “unrivalled”.
He added platform due diligence had historically been a “laborious procedure” of asking providers a set of questions for each advice process and category, comparing the data and coming up with a shortlist to try to make a comprehensive analysis of the market.
Mr Chadborn said: “The fact [the Lang Cat Platform Analyser] is funded by adviser subscriptions is crucial because providers don’t pay to be on it and can’t apply influence.
“This is very important to us. If a research tool is free then the integrity is almost certainly going to be compromised. It seems very reasonably priced.”
Meanwhile managing director of The Paraplanners, Richard Allum, said the tool had already helped the firm with quick price and proposition comparisons and would make its due diligence process “much more efficient”.
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