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10 things we’ve just learned about the platform market

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The best thing about articles like this is that it frees the writer from the shackles of attempting to write a coherent, well-thought through narrative. Research has shown that 98.4% of readers will just skip right to the list, meaning this introduction is essentially a void. A wasteland. So, that’s what it’s come to then. A human race that brought us Keats, Hemingway, Tolstoy and Polson now destined to spiral towards a spirit-crushing cultural vacuum, whereby communication takes place solely in the form of emojis and GIFs.

I, for one, can’t wait. But until then, here’s a few things we’ve been looking at in the platform market:

  1. We reckon we’re starting to see a slowdown in the DB transfer bubble. Pension flows still account for the lion’s share of new business on to adviser platforms, but anecdotal evidence coupled with what we’re seeing in flow data would suggest things are slowing down.
  2. The platform market continues to be fallow in terms of new proposition developments, with many still in the thick of re-platforming or migration exercises. But we learned of some new bits and bobs from the likes of AJ Bell, James Hay, Nucleus and Seven IM.
  3. As part of our continued quest for world domination, the lang cat recently obtained regulatory permissions[1] so that we could launch a wealth management arm – the long dog. We’ve just completed our first client segmentation and platform selection exercise[2] helped in no small part by our market-leading proposition database, pricing engine and new PROD guidelines that you need to be all over.
  4. Other fake news outlets will have you believe that platform pricing is largely homogenised, but our client segmentation exercise provide otherwise, with some clear patterns emerging based on our book of business.
  5. We waited with interest to see how Aviva flow data stood up against the backdrop of re-platforming difficulties. SPOILER ALERT: better than we expected.
  6. One of the best parts of articles like this is that you often see the author desperately clawing for something else to say in a completely transparent attempt to make up the full list of ten. Because 9 isn’t a nice, round number and would highlight the author as being untrustworthy. In other news, the adviser platform market now has around £370bn in assets, 12% up on last year.
  7. Sticking with AUA, the picture is a lot less smiley-face when you look at the quarter on quarter growth, mainly due to underlying market conditions.
  8. 90% of flows are being placed on platforms where there is some form of potential disruption (whether that be migration, re-platforming, IPO etc) ongoing.
  9. The top 5 platforms for adviser net flows accounts for 60% of new business within our peer group.
  10. AJ Bell was the most recent platform to declare interim results, posting a 24% and 17% uptick in profits and net platform inflows respectively. We’ll be getting in about financial performance of platform in the next wave of our reporting…

…and in a seamless link, I’m sure you’ll agree, you can read about all of this in significantly more depth in our quarterly Platform Market Scorecard that’s like, literally just out. Available in all good book stores and via this internet hyperlink right here. It’s a good read.

See you next quarter.

#marketing

[1] Not really

[2] We did do that though

Posted in: #little things to make your life better   #Platforms  

About Steven Nelson

One third of team data. Certified millennial despite colleague views to the contrary. Known for his above average data and excel skills. Research and insight specialist with particular expertise in platform pricing.

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