Aviva unveils platform changes

Aviva unveils platform changes

Aviva is introducing new features to its adviser platform, including same day drawdown payments and the possibility of having multiple model portfolios within a single product, as it overcomes previous technology issues.

Mike Hogg, Aviva’s head of platform proposition, told FTAdviser the latest innovations, which will be rolled out over the summer, were driven by the introduction of the pension freedoms.

These meant that in the drawdown space, the platform is now seeing 80 per cent of its customers going into drawdown, up from 20 per cent previously.

He said: "This means customers are now living off their portfolios on the platform, or having a much more intense relationship with the platform, and demanding much more of it. That is something we want to satisfy."

The new drawdown functionality has been designed to deliver complete ‘straight through’ processing, with all aspects of the new and existing business process managed online. 

This allows payments to be made on the same day on any day the client chooses, helping Aviva deal with the increasing frequency of withdrawals it has been seeing from its customers.

Until now, this was a multi-day process, Mr Hogg noted.

Another consequence of the pension freedoms observed by Aviva was that customers in retirement typically have a number of investment goals, such as immediate retirement income, long-term income, or to wealth transfer to their family.

To address this need, the provider is in the process of rolling out a function to offer multiple model portfolios within a single product.

Aviva is also looking at how it can automate portfolio withdrawals so that assets are withdrawn in ways that reduce sequencing risk and extend sustainability. 

The provider has been modelling various approaches to this, it stated.

Lastly the provider is introducing new financial reporting on the platform in partnership with Financial Express.

Reports will consider all market movements to generate detailed graphs, which will make it easier to pinpoint events and demonstrate the changes, it stated.

All reports will also have the option to embed bespoke commentary, for example the adviser could include market commentary, proposed actions or performance insight.

Lindsey Rix, managing director of savings and retirement at the provider, told FTAdviser that one of the goals of migrating its platform was to introduce new solutions for adviser clients in the long term.

She said: "We still have some issues to remediate, and some details to iron out, we are lively doing that now and we are excited about looking forward."

Mr Hogg added: "No platform is in a position where they can say actually the work is done; this is a constant process of speaking to advisers, understand what they want, refine it."

Aviva’s platform clients were beset by a range of problems for months from the beginning of last year.

The platform was unavailable for six days in January 2018 after it moved to technology provider FNZ, and there were issues with the new client reporting function.