Platform features strengthen a service proposition
Once it becomes impossible to wrap the cost of advice up with product commissions, financial advisers will come under growing pressure to demonstrate the value of the service they provide. Platforms and all the benefits they bring in terms of reporting, data management and of course whizzy tools and calculators to play with, are one relatively easy way of achieving that.
Creating your own platform is a chance to improve the overall branded experience a client receives. Whilst it’s easy for an IFA to brand client documentation such as illustrations, using someone else’s platform usually means that documentation produced via the platform has someone else’s brand all over it – for good regulatory reasons. Keeping everything under own IFA owned brand umbrella has significant appeal.
Built in compliance
Platforms assist with compliance by taking the pain out of following process flows and adhering to regulation. Developing your own platform is an opportunity get compliance measures spot on and improve overall business efficiency as a result.
We know that financial information needs to be beautiful. It will need to be better still once clients are plainly paying for advice. Platform development is an opportunity to give client reporting the boost it needs.
Owning the customer
Last, but not least, owning a platform means you’re one step closer to owning the customer. You can control what they see and experience and you have a much better chance of retaining and growing the relationship profitably.
So, what does the future hold? Will large adviser firms flex their muscles and begin specifying which platforms advisers recommend and use? Will they build their own platforms?
After all, there are some sound business reasons to do so. Running one platform means less training, less management costs and less risk of compliance issues being missed. A single platform helps make advice consistent and it helps processes to be followed diligently.
In short, it looks like a pretty strong argument.