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New technology disruptors in the platform world

17 Nov 2017 New kids on the block in the platform world

After almost two decades of the market being dominated by three or four technology providers, there are several new platform technologies emerging. There’s been a lot of noise about Hubwise and Embark, but Seccl will soon be out there drumming up business too. All of them have the potential to disrupt the platform market. Their competitive advantage lies in the fact that they provide pared down, focused propositions that have none of the legacy technology and inefficiencies in existing technologies.

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Are DB transfers all bad or is there other information we need to consider?

15 Nov 2017 Lies, damn lies and statistics

ISA activity was less pronounced in the third quarter of 2017, with sales dropping to £1.5bn. However, pensions picked up the slack and generated around 70% of platforms’ net flows. This was due to a combination of investors exercising their pension freedom rights and the steady pipeline of DB transfers.

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The popularity of UK All Companies funds in the Gatekeepers analysis.

24 Oct 2017 Cool Britannia

Our Gatekeepers series continues with a review of the UK All Companies sector. View the top ten UK All Companies funds in the second quarter here.

With 225 actively managed funds, the IA UK All Companies sector has been seen as the bellwether for asset allocators looking for broad-based exposure to UK Equities. However, according to the Investment Association, it has been the worst-selling retail sector since 2010 (with the exception of 2013 when sterling corporate bond assumed the mantle).

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The global sector has been popular for over a year. Which funds stand out?

19 Sep 2017 Going Global…

As part of our ongoing Gatekeepers research, we're focusing on a different sector each week. This week it's the global sector, the bestselling sector of the past year.

Adviser portfolios tend to follow asset allocation templates that disaggregate global equities into regional, single-strategy funds, so you would expect the one-stop-shop global equity fund to be a less popular alternative. It’s a surprise therefore to see Global Equity sector consistently topping the sales charts.

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Gatekeepers 2017 report

10 Jul 2017 BEYOND MS15/2.3 – CHALLENGING THE RESEARCH MARKET

Last year, the Gatekeepers report caused a stir in the industry by being the first to shine a light on potential biases in fund ratings. This year’s edition is bigger, better and bolder with a wealth of practical information to help fund managers navigate this challenging post MS15/2.3 market. As well as re-assessing the gatekeeper market, we’ve taken a closer look at the efficacy of active fund management, sorted the really active wheat from the closet-tracking chaff, and looked at the value chain from a regulatory perspective and the potential for further scrutiny and investigation.

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Spring has sprung. And Hope springs eternal.

30 May 2017 Spring has sprung…

...and hope springs eternal

We ran the spring sentiment survey in the last week of April (we waited until after the first round of the French presidential election on 23rd April) until mid May.

In all, there were 84 responses. Fund groups represented 62%, platforms 25% and distributors 13%. The audience was mainly British (77% ) and the rest cross-border.

Economic recovery has been gaining ground in the UK, Europe and the US. Despite geopolitical uncertainty, investor sentiment improved, optimism was in the air and there was a strong uptick in business volumes.

However, caution underpinned everything. The open comments were more restrained and measured than the answers given to multiple-choice questions. This reflects sales patterns since the start of the year. Though Q117 is one of the best on record, there has been a particularly heavy allocation to fixed income.

In summary, over the next 12-18 months fee pressure, crumbling margins and the rise of passive/robo loom very large on the horizon. As does a very expensive MiFID2 exercise.

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15 Feb 2017 The Great British Wealth Off

The press is awash with stories and articles about the pros and cons of passive and active investment, active advice and robo advice, fees and the like. The often wild claims (fake news??) give investors unrealistic ideas about long-term investments and make it difficult for them to make informed choices. To help investors understand the ins and outs of different investments through different channels, the cost implications of different channels and methods and the impact on their overall investment, we are running a unique experiment for a year — The Great British Wealth Off on comparetheplatform.com. Click here to find out

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The year ahead - January sentiment survey

02 Feb 2017 The year ahead – January sentiment survey

The Trump effect

  • We ran the sentiment survey in the second and third week of January. By this point, Trump’s shock election as president of the US was beginning to sink in, but he had yet to take office. The run-up to his inauguration and cabinet/adviser appointments were front-page news.
  • In all, we there were 82 responses to the survey. Fund groups represented 67%, platforms 31% and distributors 2%.
  • The audience was mainly British with 78% of respondents defining themselves as UK-based and the rest cross-border or international.
  • Interestingly, there was a significant dichotomy between the positive expectations for 2017 (answers to the multiple choice questions) and the pessimistic concerns voiced in the open questions.
  • Overwhelmingly, the geopolitical environment and specifically Brexit, Trump and forthcoming elections in Europe were the main concern.
  • At the time of writing, the fixed income rotation into equity was in full swing and stock-market indices had hit all-time highs.
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Five-year platform projections that give a bird's eye view of growth

09 Jan 2017 Five-year platform projections to 2021

Each year we provide five-year platform projections and look at the main drivers of growth and change, and their significance for different stakeholders. KEY TRENDS The world is literally changing before our eyes. The nationalistic mood sweeping through global politics is re-setting government policy globally and there is a similar mindset shift sweeping through financial services. Whether fund managers and platforms like it or not, in this low-growth world the old way of doing business is no longer viable or sustainable and investors are no longer willing to subsidise it.  That means increased focus on the cost of investment solutions and their

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