The Aviva Platform has gone from strength to strength this year. We've worked hard to make it a sleek, responsive system that really helps adviser firms in their day-to-day business.
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The industry is really beginning to sit up and take notice. Over the last 12 months, the Aviva Platform has:
- Doubled assets under management
- topped the Platforum Q3 2013 Market Monitor
- been named the fastest growing platform by Platforum for three successive quarters
- been shortlisted for three awards at the Aberdeen UK Platform Awards.
All of that is brilliant and it’s so rewarding to get recognition for what we’ve been doing with the platform. But that’s really the icing on the cake. What matters most is delivering a platform that really works for the people that use it.
Working effectively across your business
To be completely successful, I believe a platform has to work for more than one type of user.
An advisory firm needs a platform to work for principals, advisers and paraplanners. I don’t think you’ll get many arguments there. The challenge for us platform providers is that each of these people wants different things from the platform.
It’s a bit like when I want to buy a new car. I want great fuel economy, good safety features and a bit of welly in the engine. My wife wants heated seats, a big boot and a nice colour. The kids want decent legroom, a DVD player in the headrests and something that won’t embarrass them in front of their friends. Oh, and price is important too. Maybe not to the kids, but it is for me and my better half.
Swap the family car for a platform and you get a similar spread of needs. The principal wants business MI, client reporting and the bottom line on remuneration.
The adviser wants all that plus investment tools, bulk functionality, and easy client management. The paraplanner wants a well-oiled quote and apply system, easy rebalancing and quick, reliable admin functions. To really work for an advisory firm, a platform has to deliver on all these fronts.
To my mind, it’s important to take into account all the users of the platform. Focusing on only one type of user to the detriment of the other users means the platform is less effective for the adviser’s business overall.
That’s not what I want for the Aviva Platform. I want it to work well for all users, so it becomes a better experience for everyone concerned.
We’re talking to the people that matter
Our teams on the ground have been talking to the people who regularly use the Aviva Platform. By talking directly to actual users, we’ve been able to take real feedback and use it to improve the platform.
Over the year, we’ve made a number of changes, making the platform better bit by bit. So far, in addition to regulatory changes, we’ve made numerous platform developments, including:
- adding a capital gains report to make calculations easier
- improving the quality and content of client reports
- developing a more efficient quote and apply process
- enhancing elements of the client and administration process, such as pre-population of forms.
Taken together, all of these changes soon add up, making a big difference in both time and money when you have a large number of clients to serve.
All our improvements start with the feedback we get from the people using our platform. It forms the backbone of our continual improvement programme, so make sure you keep talking to us and telling us what you think of the Aviva Platform.
Watch out for more improvements in 2014
The Aviva Platform is growing fast and improving all the time. We’re determined to keep the momentum going into next year. We’re already got a number of improvements lined up for the coming months, so keep an eye out for new developments.
In the last year, the Aviva Platform has become a platform that advisers can’t afford to dismiss. With its competitive, low-cost pricing, it clearly targets mid-market clients - cost-conscious investors with straightforward needs.
Having such a clearly defined target audience allows us to hone the Aviva Platform to suit the needs of those clients. We’ve been able to streamline our platform, cutting out unnecessary, expensive extras that mid-market clients simply don’t need.
Doing this means we can keep costs low and offer real value for money. In turn, that gives advisers a real opportunity to serve a bank of clients who may otherwise have been priced out of the advice market.
Find out more about the Aviva Platform
As I said earlier, the Aviva Platform is beginning to create quite a stir in the industry, with respected, independent platform experts talking about it.
The recognition we’re beginning to receive tells me that we’re getting it right for platform users as well as clients. As the head of platform proposition at Aviva, I’m proud of the way we’ve developed the platform for several users but still kept clients in mind.
Having said that, I also think the best is yet to come from the Aviva Platform. So, if you’re interested in how we can help you serve your clients and build a better business, talk to your Aviva consultant or visit aviva.co.uk/adviser.
Phil Ralli, Head of platform proposition, Aviva
Two global vehicles
'Further plug advice gap'
Must appoint separate CEOs and boards
Advisers do come out well
Will report to Mark Till