Too many platforms?

According to a report featured in a recent Money Marketing article, advisers think there are ‘too many platforms’ in the UK and this will result in rationalisation due to not enough business to sustain them. 

By my count there are around 29 platforms operating in the UK. While acquisition will lead to some consolidation, I doubt we’ll see a sharp reduction in the number of platforms overall in the near future 

Joined up tech essential 

Many of the big brand providers have technology that does not align easily with newer platform systems – and some of the large platforms have technology that is not flexible enough to work with innovative smaller providers. When systems can’t connect, advisers are faced with having to stick with what they’ve always done, or make multiple choices. 

Currently, access to the big providers is a major driver for advisers’ choice of platform. If those platforms can satisfy their service and administration needs, many advisers see little need to change. 

Sleeker, faster, cheaper 

Advisers who do branch out and have multiple platforms on their books are the real winners. They are not limited to the big brands and can look at providers that offer sleeker, faster and cheaper options. This means they are better placed to meet the individual needs of their clients. 

Choosing a broader spread of platforms is not only good news for advisers’ clients, it also makes business sense, enabling access to options that can save advisers’ time, reduce risk and open the door to servicing a more diverse client demographic.  

If more advisers decide to work with a variety of platforms, to open up access to better solutions for clients, then we may see some challenges to the dominance of the big brand providers. 

With the recent pandemic putting additional strain on the service levels and tech innovation within some major providers and platforms, it seems the time may well be right for newer, smaller or just more technology-forward offerings to take larger bites of the market.