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Hat-trick for CFS in platform ranking report

Colonial First State has taken out first place in the annual Investment Trends platform report for the third year in a row, with a number of smaller, mid-tier providers hot on its heels.

The December 2014 Platform Report – compiled off the back of Investment Trends' analysis of 22 platforms, wraps and master trusts – found that CFS FirstWrap “continues to lead” on overall functionality.

Netwealth came in second, followed by Hub24 and Westpac/BT’s Asgard eWrap at number four and MLC’s Wrap & Navigator products taking out fifth place.

“Competition has become very intense at the top end, but Colonial First State FirstWrap managed to retain its position as number one in the industry following another year of significant functionality enhancements,” said Investment Trends senior analyst Recep Peker.

The availability of SMA functionality and a redesign of the client portal were listed among the recent enhancements adding to CFS’s retention of the top spot.

AMP Flexible Super was found to be the platform “making the greatest advances in functionality”, while Netwealth “took the awards for ‘Best Transaction Functionality’ and ‘Best Model Portfolio Functionality’,” the report reveals.

Hub24 was considered the best for smartphone/tablet functionality – a characteristic Mr Peker said is becoming a more important focus for platform providers.

“The philosophy behind adviser support from platforms is evolving rapidly,” he said.

“Platforms are diversifying from only providing support around platform usage, to providing strategies and helping advisers enhance their businesses.”