I'm in Luxembourg today, at a sort of platform Euro 2012, talking to the European Fund Platform Group. These are enormous players, typically offering more institutional platforms but dealing with emerging IFA business too. We'll see more cross-border movement over the coming months.
Quiet on the home front this week as we pack up the bunting and wonder how schools get away with having so many holidays. Platforms keep on getting better at supporting the adviser investment process – Novia has released new model portfolio functionality for its DFMs which will be rolled out to advisers over the coming month.
We're putting the final touches on some corporate platform research and are intrigued to note that nearly 70% of advisers with any business in the corporate markets have reviewed or will review a corpy platform over the next 12 months.
Compare this with the 17% of employers who have either implemented a corporate platform (just 3%) or who plan to review over the next 12 months (14%). There is a real declining wave of enthusiasm here, from the feverishly excited providers, to the fairly excited advisers, the lukewarm employers and the apathetic employees.
Just like the retail platform market in 2005, n'est-ce pas, although with platforms now an established concept amongst retail advisers, providers are playing to a more receptive and informed crowd.
And as we combine the themes of broader European platforms with the ideas of models (or default funds) and a move away from DB pensions, my favourite strategic Rubiks cube at the moment is the convergence of platforms and DC across Europe.
Back to rainy reality and I'm heading back to City airport for another face-off with the security lady who looked like she was trying to confiscate my slightly metallic shoes this morning. A tense moment. I would have fought her for them!
Have a good weekend all.
Baillie Gifford is to introduce a retail distribution review (RDR) share class for its fund range by making one institutional share classes available to the retail market.
Saltus has launched a suite of discretionary multi-asset portfolios on the Nucleus and Novia wrap platforms.
About half of small businesses will turn to financial advisers to make sure they are compliant with auto-enrolment employer duties ahead of their staging date, a study of 500 firms has found.
Zurich has reiterated its commitment to intermediaries despite announcing cuts to its UK Life business.
In a little over six months, the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) will go live.
Novia unveils new portfolio managment tool Model Portfolio Manager for DFMs and advisers.
Industry experts predict life company products will not come under the scope of the FSA’s platform rebate ban.
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Fund supermarket Skandia Investment Solutions is set to cut the trail commission it pays advisers on four bond funds from 0.35% to 0.25% and keep the difference to reinvest in the platform.
The Financial Services Authority will consult on delaying the implementation on new client reporting rules for platforms to the end of 2013.
Origo undertakes two “large projects” for the Retail Distribution Review including eCommerce standards for adviser remuneration and standards for quotes, new business and tracking.
Standard Life has released a toolkit aiming to help advisers create a compelling client proposition for the post-Retail Distribution Review (RDR) environment.
Brooks Macdonald Asset Management has linked with Money-info, the client facing service combining online personal financial management with banking and portfolio reporting.
Alliance Trust Investments has launched seven funds on the Novia platform as it looks to further grow its presence in the UK retail market.
Use of discretionary fund management (DFM) services among advisers has come under the microscope as the FSA raises concerns about their suitability.
Guided architecture and increased support for cross-border distribution look increasingly likely, but strong barriers remain according to those in the field.
Franklin Templeton has launched RDR ready share classes on its Luxembourg-domiciled SICAV range registered for sale in the UK.
The UK is Europe’s largest platform market as measured by assets under administration and Italy its second largest, a new report of Europe’s investment platform industry has found.