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Advisers on Parmenion: ‘I just want it to stay the same’

Advisers on Parmenion: ‘I just want it to stay the same’
 Credit: Simon Dawson

Advisers have expressed concern over the potential sale of Parmenion, stating that the primary outcome they hope for from any deal is for the platform to “stay the same”.

Lee Barton, director at Bosworth Wealth Management, told FTAdviser he had been “really pleased” with Parmenion and “couldn’t praise them enough”.

He added: “I just want it to remain the same forever. It’s really good and so it is slightly concerning that it is up for sale, although obviously we don’t know who will buy it.

“It sounds so simple from the outside, but the platform’s process is so good so any amendments or changes are really easy, and they keep you in the loop.”

Richard Ellis, director of financial planning at Ellis Davies, agreed. He feared any sale would “probably be negative” as it would come with changes.

Mr Ellis added that it was “really difficult to tell” who would be best for the platform, but noted that advisers would have to “question the motives” of any buyer as to how important it was to them for their future business plans.

He said: “I’m not too surprised at the sale of Parmenion. I never really got it from the start, never really understood where it fitted with Standard Life Aberdeen given they have their other platforms.

“We will watch with interest to see what happens. I wasn’t overly positive when Aberdeen got involved, but I suppose if somebody wants to come into the UK, who doesn’t have a UK presence but wants to stick some money into the platform space, that has to be the best outcome.”

Their comments come after Standard Life Aberdeen confirmed earlier this week (November 30) it was exploring the sale of Parmenion.

It is one of the first major gearshifts made by new chief executive Stephen Bird and a move away from the legacy left by former co-CEO, Martin Gilbert, who ‘ring-fenced’ the platform from other shifts in the business.

Parmenion offers model portfolios for advisers as a discretionary service, but its mere £6.5bn assets under management are overshadowed by Wrap and Elevate, SLA’s more mainstream adviser platforms.

‘No need for the panic button’

Ben Hammond, consultant at Altus, said advisers using the platform had no reason to worry and should not take any action at this stage.

He said: “Everyone there is very experienced and used to working on their own. Parmenion has remained separate from a propositional point of view and can stand on their own two feet.

“There’s always a level of uncertainty with these things but from an advisers’ point of view, as long as Parmenion continues with good service levels then I’d be optimistic about their future.”

Mike Barrett, consultant at the Lang Cat, agreed, saying there was “no need to press the panic button” but noting the “unsettling” nature of the sale.