Over the last decade we have seen a major shift in the way advisers conduct their business and the increasing use of platforms has emerged as a clear trend. New data from unbiased.co.uk, the professional advice website, shows that 93% of IFA firms are now using platforms or fund supermarkets to trade on behalf of their clients.
The most popular platform being used by IFAs is Skandia Investment Solutions with Fidelity FundsNetwork and Cofunds a close second and third.
The research found the average number of platforms used by an IFA firm is three, while one third (32%) of IFAs use one or two platforms and 12% of IFAs state they use in excess of six platforms.
Top Ten Platforms used by IFA firms
1. Skandia Investment Solutions
2. Fidelity FundsNetwork
4. Standard Life
6. Elevate (AXA)
8. James Hay
The figures, which are based on unbiased.co.uk’s continually updated database, show that while the majority of independent financial advisers use either platforms or fund supermarkets, 7% did not use any at all.
Karen Barrett, Chief Executive of unbiased.co.uk, comment: “There is clear dominance from the ‘big three’, which we believe is set to continue in the future but hardly a month goes by without new platforms or platform innovations being launched and we expect to see further new market entrants in the future. Interestingly, what we are seeing is that IFAs who use more than two platforms are using one of the big three to carry out more generic areas of client business but are utilising others for more specialist services.
“Being RDR-ready is not just about reaching a standard of qualification, it’s also an opportunity to reassess current systems and business strategy; platforms are becoming an increasingly used technology for IFAs to cost effectively manage their clients assets and as this area of industry develops to meet the needs of IFAs I think we will see more and more pick up”.
Notes to editors:
* Data is taken from June 2011 and based on IFA firms registered on unbiased.co.uk.
For more information contact:
Karen Barrett, Chief Executive, unbiased.co.uk: 020 7833 3131
Anna Schirmer/ Lisa Grando/ Emily Falla, Lansons Communications: 020 7294 3682
For expert commentary or case studies from over 150 media-friendly IFAs, journalists should visit www.unbiased.co.uk/bluebook.
About unbiased.co.uk, the professional advice website
The unbiased.co.ukportal is a free and confidential UK-wide search matching consumers with local professional advisers: ‘find an IFA’, ‘find a mortgage adviser’, ‘find a solicitor’, and ‘find an accountant’. These searches enable consumers to find professional advisers by postcode, area of specialism, qualification and payment method. In 2010, unbiased.co.ukfulfilled around 450,000 searches for local, professional advice.
Unbiased Ltd (owned by IFA Promotion Ltd) promotes the benefits of independent financial advice to consumers. Unbiased Ltd is sponsored by the following companies:
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