Replatforming is making life difficult for everyone involved

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Guide to platforms

“From a platform perspective, it is increasingly important to ensure that the platform technology is kept up to date and where possible, upgrades are implemented in bite size amounts, so as to cause the least disruption to users and clients.”

For Barry Neilson, chief customer officer at Nucleus, it makes sense that advisory firms have a clear back-up plan, should their primary platform face persistent technological issues.

“Advisers who have been caught up in replatforming woes, or equally those have looked on from the sidelines, may want to consider having a workable and detailed back-up plan in place in the event there are further issues in future,” he explains.

“Where there are key risks, be these changes to pricing, operational headaches or changes to culture, it’s worth having a clear, detailed policy for what platform you will switch clients to if and when these key risks occur.

“Advisers need to get comfortable with their both their due diligence and risk assessments of their current platforms, as well as their back-up plans.”

Replatforming is certainly not a problem that will be confined to 2018/19. As this market continues to grow in assets under administration, businesses will streamline – either through merging or acquiring others, or investing and building better technology.

Any or all of these instances will cause an element of disruption to advisers and their clients.

Mr Hammond concludes: “No matter where the blame lies, it is the adviser who is on the hook and so it is they who will need to rely on the findings from their due diligence if challenged.

“They should be able to show that they took steps to ensure the platform(s) they selected were the most appropriate for their customers, with stability and development roadmap as two of the most important items to investigate.”

Jenny Turton is a freelance journalist