Client engagement a ‘battle ground’ for platforms

The increasing need for financial planners to improve engagement with clients is driving competition among platform providers to constantly update features to make themselves more appealling to advisers, new research has found.

In a recent study of the platforms used by financial planners, Investment Trends found platforms that help advisers better demonstrate value to clients and improve client engagement levels have been gaining increased market share in recent years.

"Client engagement is likely to remain a key battleground for platforms, and we expect to see continued innovation in this area over the coming years," Investment Trends senior analyst King Loong Choi said.

"We have continued to see platforms provide advisers support from new angles rather than just the traditional 'how to use the platform better' guides."

He added: "Key areas of focus include providing strategies which advisers can use to enhance their businesses, and the ability for advisers to easily share research/education with clients to help lift their engagement."

Investment Trends also found that among platforms that supported advisers on a wide range of investments, Netwealth was ranked the first among advisers in terms of overall functionality.

Netwealth was then followed by Colonial First State FirstWrap, Hub24, Asgard eWrap and MLC Wrap and Navigator.

In terms of transaction tools, decision support tools and online business management tools, Investment Trends said Netwealth had also ranked first.

Commenting on the finding of the report, Netwealth said the business is committed to the IFA market.

"It is great to be acknowledged for our platform's features and functionality in this new report as well as being recognised for our adviser support and overall service in the overall satisfaction rating," Netwealth joint managing director Matt Heine said.

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