Standard Life today announced a price decrease for its Elevate platform for all new clients from 1st April 2019. This is a great move by Standard Life. It demonstrates a commitment to its core financial planning market and willingness to share economies of scale with advisers and end-consumers.
Nucleus has finally confirmed what we’d suspected for sometime: it’s going to float on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market. Transact was the first to take the plunge on 2nd March and in the same month AJ Bell announced that it was preparing a flotation in late 2018/early 2019. Nucleus’s announcement came on 2nd July, but it’s working to a punchy calendar and plans to have the whole thing tied up by late July, which is pretty fast by anyone’s book.
So after months of speculation, Aegon finally announced that it is acquiring the Cofunds platform for £140m. The mood at Witham is understandably elated, much to L&G’s amazement. To be blunt though, when you’ve hit rock bottom the only way is up. The team is ecstatic to be joining a parent that actually wants to be a major player in the platform game and hopes the days of operating on a shoestring are finally over.
Tuesday evening saw the Fundscape team head off to the Aberdeen platform awards dressed up to the nines and with no coats. Geordies we’re not, but at the beginning of the week the evenings still had that balmy summer feeling to them, although just a few days later the chilly nights have started to set in. It was a great evening as usual and it was great to catch up with the platform industry. Two platforms stood out and won the key accolades of the night: Transact for best platform for adviser service and best large platform provider, and Axa Elevate for best smaller platform provider, and the big prize of the night — best platform of the year. Well done!
It’s been a busy week this week. We’ve been finalising our new Platform database, which tracks platform assets and flows. We’ve now got seven and a half years’ history in the database and we’re starting to roll it out to platforms. Our first visit was to the market intelligence team at Cofunds who have already subscribed to the database (it’s a steal!) and we’re making appointments with other platforms. Please get in touch if you’d like to know more.
There’s a lot of interest around our confidential reports, so we’ve been working on enhanced security measures, particularly for the Platform Report. We’ve decided to go down the digital certification route which means that only users that have been certified by us will be able to read, copy or print the report. These features will make it impossible to transfer the report to non-authorised people electronically. We’ll be contacting all platform report subscribers to take them through the process of getting themselves a digital ID either individually or as a company.