Is it time for an open debate on what advisers want from Platforms? 

I believe strongly it is, if you are an adviser, what are your views?

Are we yet at the stage of another week, another platform, perhaps not quite, but the platform market has never seemed more turbulent. Research from our Empowering Advice Through Technology event in January showed 47% of advisers were looking for new platform partners. So by definition, nearly half the market is unhappy with their current offerings.

Latest to throw their hat into the ring is Abraham Okusanya and his friends at Timeline who are teaming up with David Ferguson and the gang at Seccl.

As more and more platforms come to market, I think it is really time to get some clarity around what advisers want and why, so our next Adviser Technology Forum will focus on what I see as a crucial question, “Is AdviserTech the Future of Platforms”

To facilitate this our next AdviserTech Forum between noon and 1:30 pm on 13th l June will explore this debate with a range of advisers talking about what they really want from platforms in the future and why they have selected their current partners. To register to attend this event please click here

Also,  If you are an adviser who is passionate about your current choice and would like to be one of the panellists presenting your views, please DM me via LinkedIn. 

Election robs Britain of the chance to become a smart data society (at least for now)

It now looks unlikely that the Data Protection & Digital Information Bill will receive Royal Ascent before Parliament is prorogued for the election. This is a major disappointment as it was to lay down the necessary infrastructure and regulations to move Britain to be a smart data society and would have compelled organisations to share consumer data with whoever the customer wished to receive it. Frankly, this is a let-off for organisations who are sitting on data they should be making more available. I understand there is cross-party support for the smart data provisions of the bill but the whole process will now have to start again under a new administration.

Interestingly, the FCA seems to be showing no appetite for following through on it’s pre COVID demands for faster transfers between platforms, so it looks like consumers and advisers will still have to struggle through a painfully slow process for which the mechanism to automate already exists, but there is no regulatory pressure to put it into practice. It could be argued that Consumer Duty should be sufficient to drive change, but until we see another Dear CEO letter saying platform transfer times are too slow, I doubt we will see any progress. We could and should see action from the FCA in this area as it would bring obvious consumer benefits. I am at a loss to understand why there is no longer an appetite to force platforms to take a few easy steps to deliver real benefits and save millions in unnecessary waste every year. If the FCA want advisers to reduce their fees, the regulator needs to support advisers by driving necessary change to crack down on unnecessary and avoidable delays.

Also on this week

I’ve published two summaries from recent conferences I attended. First my analysis of Daniel Needham’s excellent keynote from the Morningstar UK investment conference. This was an insightful session which outlined several reasons for UK advisers to be very positive about their future and the value of their practices. It will be followed in the near future with a summary of the wealth tech session at the same event which included a series of propositions being presented, a few really interesting ones here that have a great deal to offer. Watch out for this in the coming weeks.

Also, the first of many sessions from last week’s WealthStack conference in Florida. This event was full of tremendous conference content on how AI will impact our industry. Lots more to come from that event over the next few weeks. For more detail of each see below.

In addition, our insight team have produced an excellent analysis of a firm I have been watching closely over the last few years, Lumiant. Currently operating in Australia and the US, they have a refreshing approach to engaging with the non-financial partners in families. It is worth remembering that, depending on which study you choose to believe between 60 and 90% of partners inheriting wealth, fire the previous financial adviser, so you may have done all that work to build a relationship with the next generation, but if you have not built that trust with the other partner
It is really worth reading the analysis of what this service does and watching the videos here, especially if you are in the US or Australia where you can access Lumiant now.

If you are in the UK enjoy the bank holiday, if you are elsewhere and don’t get Monday off, still have a great weekend, I hope the content below gives you some interesting reading.