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IFAs update due diligence guide

A group of leading independent financial advisers (IFAs) has updated its successful guide to platform due diligence as the importance of choosing the right platform increases, following further clarification from the FSA.

The guide entitled ‘Questions advisers should ask platforms today’, has been updated specifically in response to the FSA paper PS11/9. Demand for both printed and downloaded copies of the guide has been overwhelming, including interest from overseas and other industries since it was launched in July last year.

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.

The key areas identified are:

1. Financial sustainability
2. Charging and fund manager rebates
3. Range of assets
4. Re-registration and legacy products
5. Tools and inducements
6. Single platform use and values

Commenting on the due diligence guide, John Moore, Chairman of the Nucleus IFA Advisory Board and director of IFA firm Central Investments, said:
“We have updated our due diligence guide not only because of its huge popularity, but also because we have seen how advisers have realised this is a vital element in choosing the right platform for their client bank. Advisers need to select the right platform match in terms of their IFA firm’s processes, culture and philosophy – cultural fit is vital and we feel platforms should not try and be all things to all people.”

Holly Mackay, managing director, The Platforum, said:
“We would echo Nucleus’ comments about the increasing interest and awareness of due diligence. As well as this being an adviser responsibility, we also think that platforms need to step up and be a lot clearer about what sorts of advisers they work well with, and what sort of clients the platform best suits. As a group, we find Nucleus quite clear about the types of adviser practices they work well with, and their due diligence document will be an important read for any adviser evaluating the market.”

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