While feature development is set to become a key part of the next stage in investment platform development, BT Platforms’ head of distribution Christopher Mather believes data and integration will be the defining elements of its evolution.
Speaking on a panel at the recent Professional Planner Best Practice Forum, Mather said there was “no doubt” platforms are right now looking at how to better use data to fit advisers to specialist cohorts of clients.
“The next wave of platform evolution and development will all be around data and integration of other systems, and the development of the technology ecosystem,” Mather explained.
This wave of data integration with likely have a critical application to advisers looking to identify specific cohorts of advice clients, whether they be intergenerational investors, millennials or post-retirees.
“It may be an emerging cohort of clients that the adviser is looking to solve for – that will now be done with solutions that would provide some sort of feature or tool that can integrate with the platform to solve that cohort,” he continued.
Australian advisers are in a remarkably fortunate position, Mather believes, due to the health of the investment platform market and the amount of money being tipped into it.
In the end, however, the clients will be the ones to benefit.
“I think Australian financial planning practices are probably some of the most privileged in the world in that there’s now an entire industry, all working to try and solve… some part, large or small, of the advice design process and make it more efficient. And with that also [comes] a real development of the end user experience.”
It follows then that advisers, product providers like BT and the rest of the market are all challenged with the task of figuring out how best to position those solutions for end clients, Mather said.
“How do we as manufacturers, suppliers and advisers help the client implement those solutions in their own affairs? This is really the future… but certainly the platforms need now the key focus on direct integration, in addition to developing feature rich consumer sets.”