Quilter CEO on ‘deepening’ IFA links with improved platform

Quilter CEO on ‘deepening’ IFA links with improved platform
Paul Feeney, Quilter’s chief executive

Quilter’s chief executive wants to “deepen” and “broaden” the firm's relationship with third-party IFAs, claiming its platform offering is now broad enough to appeal to more advisers.

Paul Feeney told FTAdviser that Quilter's replatforming exercise cost a total of £202mn, and took around two years, from soft launch to the final migration in February 2021.

Today (March 9), Quilter offered a first complete look at how this replatforming had benefited the business so far. Net flows through the platform reached £3.5bn last year, up 133 per cent on Quilter’s previous platform net flows.

It also said it had seen “a meaningful step-up” in productivity, with £2.3mn of Quilter channel gross flows generated per adviser in 2021, up from £1.8mn in 2020. 

This productivity “step-up” also saw Quilter’s total restricted adviser numbers fall from 1,765 to 1,563 last year, though Feeney said he expects Quilter to return to growth in adviser numbers during 2022.

Quilter works with around 6,000 third-party advisers - the group Feeney is particularly interested in growing.

“I’d like to thank our existing IFA supporters, who have been wonderful throughout this and supported us through the platform migration,” said Feeney.

“We’re now deepening our relationships with them because we can do more with them [now] than we could do before.”

Feeney went on to acknowledge the need for Quilter to “broaden” its relationships to those IFAs who have not used it in the past, or used it very sparsely, because of what the platform was not able to do.

“You couldn't hold cash on the platform,” said Feeney. “You couldn't do a Sipp on the platform. You couldn’t even do a junior Isa on the platform. You couldn’t even hold certain assets or ETFs or investment trusts. All those things, we can now do. And we've been very successful. We're taking new firms on all the time now.”

Old Mutual, as Quilter was once called, bought Skandia and its platform back in 2006. It then renamed Skandia Investments Services Platform to Old Mutual Wealth in 2014.

“Given that Skandia disappeared a long long time ago, it gives you an idea of how old all that technology was,” said Feeney.

Quilter’s new platform, Quilter Investment Platform, sits on FNZ One, which Feeney said is the technology provider’s latest version.

Client migration to this platform from Old Mutual Wealth finished in February 2021. It took two years to move 8,000 advice firms over, including a soft launch followed by three separate migrations.

“We looked at everything at the time. But buying a platform means you get everybody else's products or services - all the stuff you don't want,” Feeney explained.

“We wanted the technology, and that’s what we got. The team did a fabulous job and they landed it really safely. The platform has driven massive growth over the last year so I think that vindicates our decision.”