Paul McGivern

While platforms seek to differentiate themselves across market segments, findings from Investment Trends show there is little to separate them across those channels.

The researcher released its ‘2023 Platform Competitive Analysis and Benchmarking Report’ last week, which found HUB24 and Netwealth continued to lead the way for preferred platform providers.

But this year the report included benchmarking across three client segments: mass market, mass affluent and high net worth (HNW).

Investment Trends finance and research director Paul McGivern says while platforms target certain markets, the functionality of many of the market leaders lends itself to servicing at least one other if not both segments well.

“It was an interesting finding – we did think there would be a bigger difference but it turns out there’s not,” McGivern tells Professional Planner.

Mass Market (defined with client balances below $150,000) most valued functionality was decision support tools like investment valuations, research, calculators and modelling, tax tools, design and distribution obligations, and education.

Mass affluent (balances between $150,000 and $500,000) valued transaction tools like unlisted investments, cash, equities, insurance, managed accounts, and model portfolios.

HNW (balances over $500,000) most valued managed funds, cash and term deposits, unlisted investments, managed accounts and tailored model portfolios.

The survey included 35 per cent of advisers who identified as focussed on the HNW segment, 44 per cent covering mass affluent and 21 per cent serving mass market clients.

While Netwealth just edges over HUB24 in the HNW market, McGivern says, the functionality of both is highly effective across all three client segments.