Technology-enabled platforms come in all shapes and sizes. Some are mere trading decks, some offer basic custody facilities and some offer everything from CRM systems to sophisticated portfolio modelling and analysis tools. This is all before we get into the assets they are prepared to hold and the safety and security of the systems and processes behind the scenes.
One area is becoming crystal clear. Technology platforms favour modern style investors – those that have grown up with technology and expect to harness the advances to stay in touch with their investments and pension portfolios. They also put great store in the security of their assets and expect to be able to access them, if required, without fuss or complication.
Transparency is an area that is gaining a greater focus all around the globe. Whether it’s the new approach being taken from regulators with pension trustees, the implications of MiFiD2 or jurisdictional changes on the declaration of soft commissions on products and fund selection – one thing is certain, the closing speed on transparency is increasing! Clients want to know how much it will cost, who is getting a slice and exactly what are they getting it for!
Advisers are starting to change their approach and adapt their propositions to align to this level of clarity. That’s not to say they have not been upfront with clients in the past, but technology is helping them and their clients build even stronger, long lasting relationships as clients start to really understand the value delivered from online access, charting and reporting.
From an adviser perspective, platforms should be clean and simple to operate with online applications and servicing, straight-through processing and vast array of portfolio options, including multiple DFM models and passives in most currencies.
One area that often gets overlooked internationally is the reputation for investment excellence, lack of corruption and political stability enjoyed by the UK. Platforms, like Novia Global, are subject to robust rules laid down by the FCA and transparency in all systems and processes are an everyday occurrence.
As advisers continue on the journey of transforming their business models from old structures with lock-in periods, to modern platform applications with complete transparency and accessibility (assets and MI), clients will also benefit and will remain clients for a very long time!