24 Nov 2016 Two don’t become one
Standard Life has confirmed that the Elevate platform will continue as a discrete platform proposition and will not be merged into the Standard Life one. Advisers will be pleased as punch. And relieved.
It makes perfect sense. At the time of the merger I said that differences in pricing, proposition and client base would mean it was unlikely (original post), so I am pleased to have been proved right!
Standard Life sees the two wraps as targeting and servicing two different and discrete adviser cohorts — the Standard Life wrap for the wealth management cohort, and the Elevate wrap for the financial planner cohort where business is more transactional overall.
The back-end can still be harmonised and the two platforms will run off a common engine. The further you get from the front end, the easier it is to merge the technologies particularly if there is just one provider. There will be common features in the two architectures and any differences should be easily bridgeable. It is in FNZ’s interests to make the merger of the two platforms go as smoothly as possible, and show the industry that it can cope with mergers. A software provider that might be losing a client to a competitor would be less accommodating and unhelpful during a migration.
Standard Life surveyed more than 500 advisers to gauge their requirements. The vast majority (86%) said the top priority for the Elevate was to improve its usability and to automate more processes. Other priorities include maintaining the competitive price and improving client reporting and tax management tools.