• Tablets devices are set to become a key part of the advice process in the future
  • Advisers seek and are willing to bear the cost of improved integration in their business
  • XPLAN cements its lead in the software industry with its strong position among large dealer groups
  • Midwinter has the highest satisfaction amongst its users, while AdviserLogic had the largest increase in satisfaction

In its twelfth year, the May 2015 Planner Technology Report is an in-depth study of Australian financial planners and their technology needs. The study is based on a survey of 892 financial planners concluded in May 2015. This year’s study highlights a number of interesting trends:

Tablets devices are set to become a key part of the advice process in the future

Tablets, convertibles (e.g. Microsoft Surface) and similar touch screen enabled devices look set to play a significantly greater role in planners’ businesses in the future. 37% of financial planners already use tablets for business purposes and a further 41% would like to do so. Tablet adoption is highest among financial planners aged 40-54 (39% say they use them in their business).

“Planners are going mobile, with nearly eight in ten seeing a role for tablets within their business,” said Recep Peker, Head of Research for Wealth Management at Investment Trends. “Planners see the value of tablet devices as making new business processes more efficient and enabling ongoing client engagement.”

“There is strong evidence that tablet devices can play a key role in enhancing the client engagement experience – our consumer research found planner clients had extremely positive experiences when a tablet device was used by their financial planner,” said Peker.

Consequently, planners will be relying on technology providers more than ever for mobile optimised solutions.

Advisers seek and are willing to bear the cost of improved integration in their business

One of the biggest challenges faced by financial planning businesses is integration between their systems, with 88% of planners seeking integration improvements. Notably, 43% of financial planners are willing to use costlier solutions (either platforms or planning software) to have their integration needs met.

“Integration is a daily source of friction in planners’ businesses and any improvements towards alleviating this are likely to be well received by financial planners,” said Peker. “The largest integration opportunity is through streamlining the platform account opening process from planning software.”

Platforms and software providers have the opportunity to work closer together to improve integration and hence business efficiency. XPLAN has the greatest reach in planner relationships.

XPLAN cements its lead in the software industry with its strong position among large dealer groups

Financial planners’ freedom of software choice remains at its 2014 high, with 52% expressing full or limited freedom in software selection. This compares to just 39% in 2013 who had freedom of choice of software.

XPLAN is financial planners’ most used software solution with half of planners saying they use the software as their most-used. COIN holds onto second place with 19% of primary planner relationships.

XPLAN’s market share continues to strengthen with strong dealer group support. 53% of planners who started using their software within the last two years use XPLAN. This compares to 48% among planners who have been using their software three or more years.

The top three planning software by number of primary relationships are:

  1. XPLAN
  2. COIN
  3. Midwinter

Midwinter has the highest satisfaction amongst its users, while AdviserLogic had the largest increase in satisfaction

Among planning software providers, Midwinter achieved the highest overall satisfaction rating from its users.

Compared to 2014, financial planners are rating their software significantly better across many of the elements measured by Investment Trends, notably for mobile access, transaction reporting and user interface. AdviserLogic registered the largest increase in planner satisfaction between 2014 and 2015 to consolidate second place.

The top three planning software by planner satisfaction are:

  1. Midwinter
  2. AdviserLogic
  3. AdviserNETgain

Source: Investment Trends

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