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IFAs publish guide to platform due diligence

A new guide to platform due diligence has been produced by a group of leading independent financial advisers (IFAs) looking to share their own experiences and expertise with fellow advisers.

Entitled ‘Questions advisers should ask platforms today’, the guide has been specifically prepared with the RDR in mind and is designed to appeal to those advisers considering initial platform adoption, as well as retention of an existing platform. 

The guide, which is available at http://nucleusfinancial.com/professionaladvisers/nucleus_white_papers.php has been prepared by the IFA firms that own and control the Nucleus wrap platform. Drawing on their knowledge and experience it focuses on what they feel are key areas to consider as part of due diligence questions in the run up to RDR and provides readers with an introduction to each area, a list of specific questions advisers should be asking and suggestions on what to look out for in the answers provided.

The key areas identified are:

1.    Financial sustainability of the platform business

2.    Platform charging structures and fund manager rebates

3.    Are advisers able to assess the whole of the market?

4.    Re-registration to move clients’ assets freely and ease of incorporating legacy products

5.    The objectivity and impartiality of investment planning tools

6.    Is a single platform suitable for clients at different life stages?

Commenting on the due diligence guide, John Moore, Chairman of the Nucleus IFA Advisory Board and director of IFA firm Central Investments, said: “With the RDR creeping ever closer, platform due diligence has never been more important than it is today. With a range of options on the market, all with different long-term strategies and ownership structures, it is vital that advisers looking to adopt or retain a platform know what questions they should be asking and, most importantly, why. The guide we have put together is based on our own experiences and knowledge as IFAs and is something we hope will help other advisers make the right decisions for them and their clients.”

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