Neil Younger (far left), Darren Steinhardt (second from left), Matt Rady (second from right) and Andrew Alcock (far right).

The amount of insight platform providers can bring to the table is underutilised, a panel discussion has heard.

Speaking at the Professional Planner Licensee Summit last month, BT chief executive Matt Rady admitted platforms could do a better job at providing insights.

“We’re servicing half the industry with a whole bunch of information,” Rady said.

“We have not done a good job of providing insights to licensees on investment performance, adviser performance, on adviser performance… on a whole bunch of things we could do. That’s also expensive.”

Research from Investment Trends and Finura Group earlier this year noted advisers were looking to platforms to deliver a holistic suite of services and information.

HUB24 chief executive Andrew Alcock said the boundary for what platform providers will continue to blur because technology can create alpha by driving efficiency within its service.

“Those traditional lines about ‘that’s a platform, that’s the advice tool’… blow it up, throw it away, because quite frankly the threads go through and they don’t live in those boxes,” Alcock said.

“We can add value to advice review process by giving you simulation tools and help you with your review that typically would have been in advice software or ROAs [records of advice]. If technology can create an outcome, lower the cost and create utility for a consumer or an adviser, licensee or manager… bring it on.”

Alcock said he doesn’t see the “boxes we try to put around services” as being real.

“In our managed accounts we’re not just doing asset administration, we’re creating alpha to some extent through technology,” Alcock said, pointing to example of doing more than just the bare bones service.

“We’re adding value to investment manager’s IP [intellectual property]. Platforms never did that before and that to an extent is helping an adviser get a better outcome for a client.”

Matt Rady noted the evolution of platforms that started as an “investment supermarket” but has turned into a back-office provider for managed funds or managed accounts.

“We’re providing administration services here to manage portfolios, but the reality or the big shift in the industry has been that financial advice has outsourced investment management and investment management is being administered on platform.”

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