Transact has knocked Nucleus off the top spot and Standard Life has jumped from fourth to second place in the new and improved Platforum Leaderboard, compiled by industry consultants The Platforum.
The Platforum Leaderboard reflects the views of over 850 IFA users who were asked to rate providers against 10 different criteria – BDM support, quality of customer service, ease of doing business, quality of reports, general web usability, usefulness of online tools, choice of funds and tax wrappers, technical support, value of fees charged, general opinion and rating. For the first time IFA ratings have been supplemented by independent ratings agency AKG financial strength assessments. The new combined ratings have brought about a dramatic shake up at the top of the table with Transact and Standard Life taking first and second place respectively.
The findings form part of a wide reaching quarterly survey of the platform market called The (plat)Form Guide which goes into detail not only about how platforms are doing overall but which areas of their proposition they are doing better on than others, where they are relatively strong and where there is a clear mandate for improvement.
The Platforum managing director Holly Mackay says of the results and the new ratings criteria: “The decision to include AKG’s financial strength ratings in the Platforum Leaderboard is indicative of what we see as the most important trend surrounding platforms this year – in an uncertain world, it’s good to be “boring”. Our experience of other international markets suggests that this is a natural evolution in a maturing platform market. Once all the hoopla dies down about tools and functionality, those using the platform day-in day-out are reminded (sometimes through bad experiences) that at its core, this is nothing other than an administration service facilitating a client’s investment portfolio.
“A combination of financial strength ratings and user feedback has placed Transact, Standard Life then Elevate at the top of the new Platforum Leaderboard. It won’t be long until this is correlated with AUA and, we suspect that within a year, these three will be next in the pecking order behind the three behemoths, Skandia, Fidelity and Cofunds.”