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Platform industry projections

04 Jan 2019 Where will the platform industry be in five years’ time?

For the last 10 years we've produced annual five-year projections based on industry trends and the economic outlook and their likely impact on the platform industry. 2018 has been a challenging environment for the industry with some platforms taking a far larger slice of the action than others. Despite the challenging environment, the overwhelming consensus from platform leaders is that platforms that can support advisers to support their clients have a long-term sustainable future.

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Deconstructing the FCA's interim report into the Platform Study

28 Aug 2018 Deconstructing the FCA’s Platform Study Interim Report

The FCA’s interim platform report has already been well and truly thrashed out by trade journals and other research houses. However, we believe that our tools and research are ideal for proactively engaging with the regulator’s long-term objectives and have reviewed the interim report on that basis. But first let’s start with the basics: why, who and what.

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Nucleus aims to float

11 Jul 2018 Nucleus aims to float…

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. 

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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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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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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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11 Aug 2016 So you wanna be a contender?

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.

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