I have been working in the paraplanning profession for 15 years now and for a large part of this, I have been helping advisers with the efficient transition of their clients’ assets on to platforms.
I was recently able to attend the excellent Money Marketing Interactive event and one of the day’s talks was from a leading platform provider on the consolidation of client assets. As head of paraplanning at b-compliant Ltd, this was of great interest.
During the excellent presentation, I was interested to hear that there is estimated to be £517 billion assets held on advised and direct platforms in the UK (Platforum, March 2018) – this got me thinking how many assets I had worked on over the years and helped advisers transition to platforms….?
For some time now, we have been aware of the potential benefits platforms provide in terms of meeting client expectations and delivering efficiencies and increased revenue opportunities for the advisory firm.
Surprisingly, however, I learnt at the presentation that there are still an estimated £2.4 trillion legacy assets held off the platform (Citywire Money, August 2017). This is at a time where there is a demand from clients for the simplification of their assets (83% of clients surveyed in November 2016 Flex MR consolidation research expressed ‘an interest’ in consolidation).
The efficiencies provided by platforms for adviser firms can come in many ways. One such way, which has been brought to the fore recently, follows the introduction of MiFID 2 and the ‘ex-post’ disclosure of costs and charges. To recap, this part of MiFID 2 means advisers need to disclose to their clients, the actual costs and charges applicable to their retail recommendations at least on an annual basis. Importantly the costs need to be aggregated and expressed both as a cash amount and as a percentage.
Many of the leading platforms have already come out and explained to their advisers how they will assist with this MiFID 2 requirement. This is great for those adviser firms where client assets are held on one platform. However, where clients hold assets across several investment companies or providers, how will those advisers efficiently and accurately collate this information for their clients? Furthermore, how will these advisers present this information to clients in a meaningful format which meets with MiFID 2 requirement?
In conclusion, if you are an adviser who understands the benefits of the consolidation of client assets, but just aren’t sure where to start or if you are eager to consolidate client assets to a platform but do not have the paraplanning resource required for the task, give me a call for a chat about how b-compliant can help to move your business forward.