Financial Planning
Tech providers fall behind increased planner needs

More than 70% of financial planners are open to transition from their primary platform, saying technology providers are failing to adequately fulfill growing needs.

Insights from the Investment Trends Planner Technology Report show 75% of financial planners would consider switching platforms, either for lower administration fees (47%) or the benefit of a wider feature set (28%).

Among those tempted by lower fees, 82% would also be enticed by enhancements in functionality, with planners feeling their providers could be doing more to support them.

"While planners traditionally use platforms for their efficiency benefits, the vast majority are open to alternative solutions that play a greater role in advice delivery, from the back office to the front," Investment Trends research director Recep Peker explained.

"Planners envision the next generation of platforms to be feature rich, providing them support with plan production, modelling tools and interactive client review tools."

As a result the most widely used platforms, CFS FirstChoice and BT Wrap, are increasingly under threat from the new guard - Netwealth, BT Panorama and HUB24.

"Netwealth, HUB24 and BT Panorama are among the most technologically advanced platforms in the market, delivering not only efficient admin and online functionality, but also a wide ranging proposition that includes good portfolio management tools and a wide product range," Peker said.

Supporting this, the financial planners surveyed by Investment Trends rated Netwealth and HUB24 equal first for overall satisfaction, followed by CFS FirstChoice, BT Wrap and Macquarie Wrap.

HUB24 also achieved the highest client satisfaction in 16 of 24 categories assessed, including BDM support, online functionality, comprehensiveness of data feeds, and ease of use.

"We are incredibly proud of this result. These strong satisfaction levels are testament to the quality of our market leading platform technology and the tools and support we provide advisers to help them to grow their business and engage their clients," HUB24 managing director, Andrew Alcock said.

In regards to software satisfaction, XPLAN remains dominant with 54% of planners using it as their primary software, though AdviserLogic secured the top spot for overall satisfaction for the second successive year. It also placed first across the majority of service elements measured, including quality of training, navigational efficiency and user interface.

According to Investment Trends, the average planner currently uses 3.2 separate systems for data collection ahead of a client review. However, if given the ability to consolidate to a single system, the majority of planners would prefer their planning software fulfill this role.

"Planners believe their planning software provider is best placed to improve integration between systems. Planning software providers have the opportunity to solidify their position as planners' client data hub," Peker said.

Read more: HUB24NetwealthBT PanoramaBT WrapCFS FirstChoiceAdviserLogicAndrew AlcockInvestment Trends Planner Technology ReportMacquarie WrapRecep Peker
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