Platforms keeping up with managed accounts demand

Platforms keeping up with managed accounts demand

New platform providers are catering to the growth in the use of managed accounts among advisers, new research has found.

According to Investment Trends’ 2018 Platform Benchmarking & Competitive Analysis Report, adviser use of managed accounts has increased for the seventh consecutive year, with 35 per cent now recommending these solutions to clients. This is up from 16 per cent in 2012.

A major contributor to growth is the rising number of platforms that provide access to managed accounts functionality. In 2018, CFS FirstWrap, North and IOOF Pursuit joined the ranks of platforms using managed accounts.

Investment Trends senior analyst King Loong Choi said 16 platforms now provide managed accounts solutions.

“With more advisers and licensees running managed accounts, it is increasingly important for platforms to provide users with access to a dedicated model manager portal,” Mr Choi said.

“While many managed accounts platforms do provide model managers with access to a dedicated model manager portal, there is scope to improve the breadth and depth of functionality and reporting without sacrificing usability.”

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The report also noted that the platform industry is driving forward in innovation and development of new functionality despite regulatory headwinds, as the proportion of platform development spend allocated to developing new functionality reached a five-year high (63 per cent of development expenditure, up from 37 per cent in 2017).

“Many platforms have lifted their game to help financial advisers improve efficiencies in their practice,” said Mr Choi.

“Many improvements are made with the goal of helping advisers reduce their admin burden while lifting client engagement levels at the same time. Notable developments in 2018 ranged from improved cash management tools to client portal enhancements.”

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