Advisers warned to do their bit on replatformings

Advisers warned to do their bit on replatformings

Advisers have been told they need to play their part to make sure replatformings are successful.

Speaking at the Lang Cat's DeadX conference yesterday (November 15) afternoon, the firm's consulting director Mike Barrett said he was surprised how many advisers were not paying attention to the details when their platforms of choice replatformed.

He said: "One of the things which really does trouble us around this is that pretty much everyone in the industry knows how hard [replatformings] are but there are a significant number of advisers who are just walking into these events.

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"If I am your client and I am paying you 1 per cent a year to look after my money and I find you are deleting those emails without reading them, then that is not good enough."

He cited the example of Aviva's replatforming, when the provider admitted a change to its treatment of cash had caused confusion among advisers, but Mr Barrett pointed out that the company had emailed advisers about these particular changes.

On Aviva's previous platform, cash held on the platform was targeted first for paying fees and charges and if there wasn't enough of this, cash held in a client's portfolio was then used.

But since the replatforming cash has been treated as an asset in its own right, meaning if there is not enough cash set aside, assets in the model are disinvested proportionally to cover the charges.

Mark Polson, principal at the Lang Cat, told the conference 2018 had been the most disruptive to the adviser market since the Retail Distribution Review in 2013, citing issues such as the troubled replatformings faced by Aviva and Aegon, the British Steel debacle and the collapse of Beaufort Securities.

Mr Polson said the last of these had had a surprisingly large effect on the industry which had filtered through into the due diligence work the Lang Cat does, with its clients asking what happens when investors lose faith in the strength of the institutions which hold their money.

He said: "We have been asked to do work on what happens when clients suddenly perceive that the veil of trust that their money is safe has been pierced. Beaufort Securities is a great example of something that happens when you are not looking."