Irene Guiamatsia (left) and Danni Le Grande

Advisers are beginning to look to platforms to deliver holistic services, eschewing the dependence on client relationship software according to research from Investment Trends.

Developed in conjunction with Finura Group, the ‘2022 Adviser and Advice Tech report’ reviewed five end-to-end providers, 15 application solution providers, six digital advice providers and two platform providers, with a view of how each of those providers interact in the advice framework.

Finura Group head of consulting Danni Le Grande tells Professional Planner platforms have enhanced their traditional roles of managing client portfolios to adding functionality to assist the back office of an advice business with CRMs and administrative tools to offering client portal capability.

“Platforms are now sitting as a tool to support the ‘jobs to be done’ particularly when it comes to the onerous tasks in an advice business like reviews,” Le Grande says.

She adds the quality of data feeds inside the advice tech leaves much to be desired, particularly during client review times.

“There is often a double check back to the platform, and in some cases a lack of trust in the integrity of the data in the CRM and we see platforms playing a crucial role in providing solutions that look to solve this issue and provide better experiences for advisers.”

Previous research from Investment Trends found advisers are averaging just over three platforms in their practice, but this latest research suggests they are open to working with more investment systems.

“That being said, as product providers are either lacking in service quality, we’re seeing advisers start to move to new platforms and take up additional platform offerings and functionality when it comes to supporting their back office,” Le Grande says.

Investment Trends head of research Irene Guiamatsia notes the finding seems contradictory on the surface.

“This study clearly shows platforms getting in the space of what traditional financial planning software does,” Guiamatsia says.

“On the other hand, we know advisers are using a wider range of platforms. Each of which actually go into quite a great deal of depth in the functionality to help advisers with core financial planning elements and client management.”

Guiamatsia says there is potential for one solution to create an exclusive partnership with advisers if it can meet the challenge of handling every responsibility across the ‘jobs to be done’ framework introduced in the latest research.

“The question as to which solution may prevail remains wide open,” Guiamatsia says. “The answer may take a little while yet to crystallise.”

Last week, the researcher released its ‘2022 Platform Benchmarking and Competitive Analysis Report’ which showed smaller players in the platform space dominating the top five ranking spots for functionality.