29 Mar 2012

PLATFORMS PLAY VITAL ROLE IN IFA FORTUNES AHEAD OF RDR

PLATFORMS PLAY VITAL ROLE IN IFA FORTUNES AHEAD OF RDR

MyTouchstone provides insight into use of platforms by IFAs

London, March 2012 - New analysis from MyTouchstone, the market leading IFA database which is operated by the wealth and investment intelligence services division of Equifax, provides a clear indication that platforms are going to play a key role in IFA business operations after RDR comes into effect in January 2013. Released at the same time as MyTouchstone launches its more detailed Platforms section on its website, in partnership with ThePlatforum, the data provides important insight into IFA platform adoption.

Key data for Quarter 4 2011 shows a small increase in the number of IFAs using platforms for placing their business. However, it appears that many IFAs are still doing business ‘off platform’ with a small increase in Quarter 4 2011 compared to the previous three months.

  • 462 IFAs placed all of their business via platforms in Q4'11 up from 436 in Q3'11
  • 6,677 IFAs placed all of their business "off" platform in Q4'11 up from 6,479 in Q3'11
  • "On" platform new business via IFAs was £2.57bn in Q4'11 (21% of IFA market), down from £3.02bn in Q3'11
  • "Off" platform new business via IFAs was £9.72bn in Q4'11 (79% of IFA market), down from £10.04bn in Q3'11

“This new data suggests that there is still some way to go in IFAs seeing the powerful business benefits of platforms” said Geoff Greensmith, Strategic Director for MyTouchstone. “This is reinforced when we look at recent research conducted by ThePlatforum regarding the fundamental ‘must haves’ that will persuade IFAs to use platforms more. Not surprisingly service, usability and low charges come top of the IFAs wish list. However, IFAs also want flexibility in how they can access platforms with fund wrapper choice and functionality also being the key ‘must have’ for more than 50% of IFAs who responded to ThePlatforum survey.”

ThePlatforum fundamental ‘must haves’ - Q4 2011
 

  • Service - 58.7%
  • Usability - 57.6%
  • Low charges - 54.3%
  • Fund Wrapper Choice - 51.1%
  • Functionality - 51.1%
  • Open Architecture - 35.9%
  • Technical Support - 21.7%
  • Processing speed - 17.4%
  • Quarterly Reports - 17.4%
  • Client access - 16.3%
  • Access to tools - 16.3%

 

“We believe that platforms are going to play an even more important role in the post RDR world as they will make life much easier for IFAs to help comply with the new regulation”, continued Geoff Greensmith. “It’s vital therefore, that they investigate the options and work out the best platforms to use in the coming months and we look forward to seeing how the trends change in 2012.

“More than 1,000 IFAs log on to the MyTouchstone database every month to upload fresh data, providing a valuable insight into IFA businesses. More than 10,000 registered individuals have provided information which makes MyTouchstone highly reflective of current market activity. With our new partnership with ThePlatforum, this means we will also be able to monitor how platform usage is being adopted by IFAs.”

END

About Equifax

Equifax is a global leader in consumer and commercial information solutions, providing businesses of all sizes and consumers with information they can trust. We organize and assimilate data on more than 500 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide, and use advanced analytics and proprietary technology to create and deliver customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 17 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500® Index. Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. For more information, please visit www.equifax.com.

IXI, Workload and MyTouchstone

Equifax Inc acquired US wealth data specialist, IXI, at the end of 2009. The IXI Corporation has been directly-measuring consumer wealth in the U.S. for the past 15 years.

Now, the unique combination of UK wealth business, Workload, acquired by Equifax UK in 2011 and IXI is set to bring an unparalleled understanding of consumer wealth and purchase behaviour to the UK for the first time.

Workload is the UK’s leading provider of strategic IFA intelligence to financial product providers, delivering powerful benefits to its users. It operates a shared investment product data exchange with information provided by over 90 of the UK’s leading financial services companies. It also operates the MyTouchstone database which is powered by the collective sales data of 77 major product providers, fund managers and platforms and inputs from thousands of IFAs to help IFAs understand how they perform compared to the other IFAs in their post area and across the UK.