Platform availability increasingly important to IFAs

By Daniela Esnerova

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Advisers are increasingly looking for platform availability when choosing a discretionary fund manager, new research from Platforum shows.

While last year only 27 per cent of surveyed IFAs cited availability on their preferred platform as one of the most important factors within their DFM due diligence, this year it was 40 per cent- the biggest year-on-year jump among preferences.

The Platforum research, which surveyed 193 advisers, concludes: "Advisers are reluctant to switch clients from platform to platform and so they limit their DFM choice to those readily available to them on their current platforms."

The report adds that often DFMs can onboard portfolios onto a specific platform in the case of sufficient client demand, but"some platforms are more responsive than others to such requests".

Most important factors when selecting DFMs (year-on-year comparison) 

The biggest priority for advisers, when searching for a DFM is overwhelmingly "fees and charges," with three quarters of IFAs giving high importance to this in their DFM due diligence.

Investment performance came in second on the list of most important due diligence areas at 54 per cent.

While DFMs are finding it difficult to differentiate themselves from their competitors in these particular areas, they identified a key point of differentiation in providing advisers with all the reporting and information they need, so they can better manage their client relationships with the end client.

The survey found a significant drop in importance that IFAs give to client service, with only 26 per cent, however.

Advisers are becoming more keen to manage every bit of the client relationship and to keep the DFM in the background, Platforum researchers conclude.

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