TechnologyFeb 24 2023

Iress reviews UK arm of adviser software service Xplan

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Iress reviews UK arm of adviser software service Xplan
The UK arm suffered a decline due to the “loss of a large client” in the first half of 2022
ByRuby Hinchliffe

Iress has confirmed it is “reviewing” the UK arm of its adviser software service Xplan, after the chief executive told an Australian news outlet it was “calling time” on the international business following years of underperformance.

The ASX-listed company published its financial results for last year this week, which showed its UK and European business - that employs some 737 people - “again delivered a disappointing result” with constant currency revenue growth of just 1 per cent.

“While significant growth opportunities exist in the UK, the company needs to improve shareholder returns in that market,” Iress said in its results.

Operating revenue for the UK and European business was down 2 per cent, making it the only part of Iress to experience negative revenue growth in 2022.

The UK arm specifically saw a decline due to the “loss of a large client” in the first half of the year, which was not fully offset by new client wins.

The company has been migrating UK customers off its old product ‘Adviser Office’ to Xplan.

It said in its results that it had successfully converted around 90 per cent of these clients to the new software, and won a further 120 new, small clients.

Earlier this week, Iress chief executive Marcus Price told Australian outlet Professional Planner he was “calling time” on the underperforming international business.

“It’s time to have a good hard look [at] what to do about the offshore markets,” he said. “They are actually a distraction away from what are superb core businesses in Australia.”

Today (February 24), the company sent out a further statement on its plans in the UK. 

Price confirmed Iress was “reviewing the best structures and approaches” of its UK business.

“This means that Iress is increasingly open to collaborating with other companies to drive innovation and product development,” he added.

Despite describing the international business as a “distraction” earlier this week, Price has now said the firm is “committed to making Xplan the number one advice and wealth management software in the UK”.

Price said: “We are completely focused on delivering excellent software and service to our clients along with value to our shareholders. 

“We are refreshing our strategy for doing so and look forward to sharing this with our clients and investors in April.”

Other players in the UK market currently include Intelliflo, 360 Dotnet, Twenty7tec and Wealthcraft - which Morningstar now owns as part of its Praemium acquisition.

“At a time when Iress wants to grow in the UK, there’s more competition than there’s ever been,” one industry source told FTAdviser.