Advisers with growth ambitions should consider new options, finds new report commissioned by SEI Wealth Platform
Advisers looking to take their businesses to the next level in terms of growth need to re-evaluate the way they interact with platforms, amid a seismic shift in the adviser/product provider relationship, a report by financial services consultancy the lang cat has found.
Large or fast-growing advice businesses are increasingly finding themselves at a tipping point when it comes to their choice of platforms, according to the lang cat, with existing retail offerings often unable to accommodate their needs.
Common problems identified include the cost of using retail platforms, a lack of integration between front, middle and back offices, and ultimately a lack of ability to build underlying value into their own companies.
The only option thus far has been for an adviser firm to adapt to fit its business around the offerings in the marketplace. But according to the lang cat, advancements in technology are making it more viable than ever for those serious about growing substantially to become platform operators themselves, in turn accelerating growth.
The lang cat, which carried out the report on behalf of the SEI Wealth Platform, said a model is emerging that allows adviser businesses of a certain scale to create their own platforms in conjunction with organisations like SEI, effectively becoming a new kind of advice firm.
Mark Polson, founder of the lang cat and author of the report, said: “The change in the landscape we are talking about is significant, but for high-growth or larger firms who want to look at something genuinely different, we think moving beyond the vanilla retail platform market will give businesses a great chance for real differentiation and – hopefully – a secure and predictable future.
“This is also a seismic shift for providers to adjust to, and we think it is those who have models allowing adviser firms to approach and interact with the platform space in different ways who have the edge.
“It will not be for everyone of course, and certainly those with less than £500m in assets under administration would have to think carefully about whether such a solution is required for their business. But for firms of a certain size or growth rate, there is now the option for the adviser-cum-platform model to start carving out a sizeable piece of the market for itself.”
Kevin Russell, Proposition Director at SEI, added: “Technology used to be a barrier for companies seeking to expand, but advancements in recent years mean it has become a key enabler for businesses with the drive and ambition to grow.
“Some of the most innovative and successful businesses in the UK advice space, such as True Potential and Fusion Wealth, have shown just how great an impact integrated technology solutions can have on companies ready to start the next phase of their journey, and we expect increasing numbers to follow suit as the advice landscape continues to evolve.”