The Aberdeen UK Platform Awards have introduced a new award this year that could arguably be the most prestigious.
When we invite advisers to evaluate platforms they no longer use, they say, "Failed to deliver on service - didn't do what they promised."
It is easy to focus on the hard issues when conducting due diligence on platforms - range of product, price, ownership, wrappers - they are all there in black and white. The soft issues around service and support are harder to evaluate.
You learn from experience and you only get real experience when the platform is up and running with your clients on board and it is too late to change your mind.
A number of organisations such as Platforum having been measuring service satisfaction for some time now. We think it is so important that we are introducing a new award this year - Best platform for adviser service. We believe that the winner will have a great advantage when competing for adviser business.
Having consulted with a number of consultancies operating in the platform sector, we have arrived at five categories for which we are asking for ratings:
• Support and training at implementation stage
• Efficiency at registration on and off the platform
• Day-to-day administration, technical knowledge and expertise of support
• Usability and design that minimizes confusion and errors
• Individual or team support when specific help is needed
Price often seems to be the key criterion in platform selection. It is doubtful that it should be. For a given size of portfolio, with due regard to range of funds, investment products and wrappers required, it is unlikely that there will be 10bps difference between the platforms to be considered. This equates to £100 per annum for a portfolio of £100,000. That is about 40 minutes of a typical adviser's time. What is the cost of poor administration? You know better than anyone! It hurts you, your administrators and, most importantly, your clients. It can cost you business.
To vote go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/adviserserviceawards
Since November 2008
Share issue oversubscribed
PARTNER INSIGHT: For many advisers, outsourcing to a multi-manager or discretionary fund manager makes sense, allowing them to focus on the adviser-client relationship
Events, information and other services
An added tier of asset management can of course deliver additional benefits for certain investors, writes Graham Bentley - just be sure you can justify it to the regulator and, especially, the client