Ascentric has launched an enhanced client reporting feature on its platform, explaining it "could not stand still" while it continues its re-platforming project.
The launch of its new feature also comes less than two months before the Markets in Financial Instruments Directives II (MiFID II) legislation, which Professional Adviser understands has troubled platforms and stagnated platform development across the market, comes into effect.
Ascentric is also in the midst of a long-term re-platforming move from proprietary technology to Bravura Sonata. Its project has so far cost more than £44m.
Ascentric head of marketing Sarah Lyons said its proposition could not stand still until the new platform launched.
"Re-platforming has been a journey for us and we needed to invest in our proposition at the same time as re-platforming," she said. "We couldn't not do this. It also gives us the best chance of hitting the ground running when we go live with the new platform."
The Royal London-owned platform originally expected to complete the move to Bravura technology by September 2015 - more than two years ago - but said in the summer it is now "in the final furlong".
Lyons continued: "The proposition has moved on in the time we've [been re-platforming]. The challenge of re-platforming is that if all your development resources are taken up on that [re-platforming] it's actually really hard to do things over and above.
"What we didn't want to do was get to the new technology and then have a backlog of proposition stuff I need to do to get us to a place where we have a compelling proposition in the market."
Enhanced client reporting
Ascentric has partnered with fintech firm Sprint, and its client reporting system Fastrak, to launch the new service, which it said will provide "comprehensive information on every client's investments and savings to automatically pre-populate advisers' client reports".
Ascentric claimed the average time for a client report to be developed in the platform market is around 90 minutes, saying this was "failing advisers". However, its new, fully-customisable reporting system can make them almost instantly, the Royal London-owned platform said.
It costs £125 per month, excluding VAT, for one to five advisers to use the service, with every additional adviser costing an extra £20 per month.
Jason Hemmings founding partner of financial planning firm Cornerstone Asset Management, who has piloted the service, said he does not see the expense of the service as a cost, but as an investment in his firm.
"We have already reclaimed 10 times what it has cost us," he said. "This is undoubtedly a sound investment in the future of our business. The quality and consistency of the reports gives us piece of mind that we're producing the best possible service for our clients, which is so crucial in the current regulatory environment."
He added: "Platforms have got all the data, the problem is they don't really have the desire to put it into the form the end user wants."
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