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Platforms need to get out of their own swim lanes

Platforms need to get out of their own swim lanes

Platforms have done an awful lot of innovation but so far it’s all been within their own swim lanes, according to David Tiller, Quilter’s commercial and propositions director.

Tiller appeared on the FTAdviser podcast alongside Andrew Back, chief commercial officer at Multrees, to discuss the future of advised platforms, digging into the various operating models emerging throughout the market and what advisers want from them.

“We’ve done an awful lot of innovation in our own swim lanes,” said Tiller. “The only way we’re going to make a difference for customers is if we start innovating across the value chain and get out of siloed thinking and start thinking how it [technology] fits together…The platforms that will be able to do it will be the ones that have actually sorted out their foundations.”

To innovate, platforms need to see themselves “not necessarily as islands”, Tiller said, and instead see themselves as part of a wider ecosystem to support advisers.

“The analogy would be Android or Apple app stores. There’s a lot of creativity, a lot of innovation within those environments, but the core stability remains unchanged. In a world which remains uncertain, stability has real value,” he explained.

Back, talking from the point of view of a smaller, more customisable platform provider, said advisers have probably had to fit around the platform in the past. 

“You’ve broadly got three main engines, GBST, FNZ and Bravura. They are one size fits all,” he said. 

“What advisers are saying to us is they want three things. They want more control of what the platform looks like and how it behaves. They want more flexibility in the way they deploy their charges or do their client reporting, and they want some form of personalising. And they want it at scale.”

Multrees builds the technology for advisers with a layer of operational processing on top to manage processes such as payments, transactions, and account opening or closing.

“There’s very few advisers who truly want to build their own platforms. It is a massive undertaking and a lot bigger than people realise,” said Back.

To listen to the full podcast, click on the link above.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com