Origo is ahead of the RDR curve bringing platforms and adviser firms new messaging and data transfer Standards as well as innovative integration tools, says Paul Pettitt, Managing Director of Origo.
The platform market has seen rapid growth in the past few years – testified to by the large number of players now offering their services – and many financial advisers say they could not operate their business without the services of at least one platform. This is especially so where they are running model portfolios (45% of advisers use model portfolios today, according to The Platforum Adviser Platform Guide 10).
With this level of growth some consolidation among platforms is likely which, combined with the similar amalgamation of advisory firms, could lead to issues with different systems being managed under ‘one roof’. This not only incurs additional costs in processing, maintenance and migration of systems but it drains resource that would be better employed bringing on new client assets and moving them onto their preferred platforms as swiftly and as smoothly as possible - a core requirement for Treating Customers Fairly (TCF).
With the current number of players in the platform market, invariably using in-house developed systems or derivations of bought-in systems, trading and exchanging information in a secure online environment demands that particular attention is given to operational efficiencies.
Likewise, advisers want the assurance that they can easily research, recommend, open accounts, process orders and manage portfolios as efficiently as possible, while remaining fully RDR compliant.
All of the above are industry-wide issues requiring the art of collaboration in helping to determine common solutions. Origo, the eCommerce standards and services body brings together different industry groups, in a safe environment to deliver common eBusiness Standards and Services and to enable the market to respond to absolute necessities such as the RDR and TCF.
Our eCommerce Standards for example, have been around for over 20 years and have made the premise of ‘build once, use often’ a practicality for more than 600 organisations, providing significant efficiencies and cost reductions in the linking of systems up and down the distribution chain.
The changes that our industry has experienced over the years, has meant a greater reliance upon Standards. Organisations including platforms, providers, software suppliers, portals and advisers have relied on Standards to not only bring them operational efficiencies, but also to help ensure that their processes are compliant.
New tools and RDR-ready Standards
As part of preparing the industry for the RDR, we released a range of new Standards, including the new Adviser Remuneration Standard, last August. This early delivery has provided the industry with a good lead-in period in which to work with the Standards and undertake any necessary implementation with their systems, so that they are prepared come the 31 December deadline.
With the new Standard, our aim has been to help advisers quickly and accurately reconcile their remuneration so that they know what to expect when they get paid facilitated charges or commission by the platform (or provider).
Our latest out-of-the-box Standards functionality is the Flexible Integration Toolkit (FIT), which is designed to deliver powerful integration capabilities between the various applications used by advisers and platforms.
Pre-population is an important tool available within FIT. These Standards are useful in the pre-sales environment, and once implemented, help advisers to move pre-sales data between different systems – for example, from a platform to a back-office system. As a result, Pre-Population enables advisers to work more productively, by saving time and dramatically decreasing the risk of data entry errors.
The ability to effect not just a one-off data transfer but regular exchange of data between systems in a prompt, secure manner is a fundamental part of how our Standards work and they are already significantly improving business efficiencies for our current platform customers.
The requirement to transfer data across systems means those using the new Pre-population Standard can populate their systems with information available on other systems, whether their own or another organisation’s, which helps facilitate straight-through-processing (STP). The above is just a small example of how platforms can reduce costs, improve services and remain compliant.
To learn more about Origo and our Standards, our website now houses an interactive Standards Library dedicated to Platforms and their business processes. There is no need to log in to the service to browse the new Standards Library, just go to: