Mark Loosmore of IRESS says the Skandia platform was beginning to look dated. That is until it undertook a complete re-design...
We have reviewed the Skandia platform several times and have often been impressed by the functionality on offer. However, we had been a little concerned that the solution was becoming dated in look and feel and not taking advantage of the latest user interface ideas and concepts. We were therefore pleased to hear it had redesigned its user interface and reorganised its functionality to become more intuitive. We were delighted to have the opportunity to review the new system.
The platform has been re-designed following research with advisers and paraplanners, as well as a website usability expert to redesign the platform to create an interface that works in the way advisers work. In essence, the functionality is now organised around the client and the business processes are centred on the client.
Skandia needs little introduction – as part of the Old Mutual group it is well established, successful and has strong financial backing. It also has the potential to access a wider range of products to add to the platform at the right time. The platform itself, in terms of profitability, is less clear and its financial model is undergoing substantial change. But it remains one of the big three measured by assets under administration (AUA) and Skandia UK as a whole is a profitable business.
Skandia has provided a timely update to the system but, as I write, the changes have only occurred to the central customer review components of the solution. The changes will be applied to the transactional areas of the platform next year. More fundamentally, Skandia needs to wrestle with its business model. Early announcements suggest it is stepping up to the mark and changing its pricing structure. It is still a little secretive about the rebates it receives but this will change when it rolls out an unbundled pricing structure in time for RDR implementation.
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