/ Technology

THE TOP CLASS WEDNESDAY UPDATE IS LIVING IN A FRAGMENTED WORLD

And so it came to pass that the Platform of the Year Awards were held on a Tuesday night, and Mark had not lined anyone else up to write the Update and lo, he looked and he found that it was really not good. But given that the damage was self-inflicted he had no choice but to suck it up and get on with it.

Regular readers will know that from time to time we leave aside the normal whimsy to concentrate on Matters of Substance, and that’s the case this week. Yesterday we launched our latest big report, and you’re going to hear about it because – as I’ve said many times before – it’s my Update not yours and it’s not like anyone’s got you chained up or anything; you can tap out any time and go and read other, less insightful Updates which are, of course, always available.

Before I do, congrats to Parmenion for winning Platform of the Year last night. This is particularly fun because certain denizens of the planning community – hi Darren! – still feel that Parm isn’t a platform at all and so the award will lead to crossness, which is excellent. So well done Parmenion, and congrats to all the other winners.

OK. So, our new report is called A Fragmented World, and it’s a follow on from 2019’s A Disconnected World. I think you can probably see what we did there. Our original intention was to show how far key processes have come since 2019 in terms of integration, but when we got into the fieldwork it turned out that these processes really hadn’t evolved very much at all. So short of ctrl-C, ctrl-V from the last report – and my goodness I’m not above that – we needed to find a new tack.

That tack was to dig into not so much the ‘what’ of which system integrates in what way with others – though there is plenty of that in there – but to look at the impacts of the lack of integration and the fragmentation of the sector that’s going on right now on firms and even the providers that serve them.

If I had to sum up the report – and I do – then I’d say that what we found was a battle between fragmenting and integrating forces. I’m not much good at Marvel stuff, but I think integrating forces are sort of good like, I don’t know, the raccoon with the guns or whatever, and the fragmenting forces are like the big guy with all the rings who goes on about them for hours at a time.

The tricky thing is that the integrating forces – which include the development of new ecosystems for restricted firms, hubs such as Origo’s one and Sprint’s new FINIO hub (which also won a gong last night with Raymond James) – are outnumbered and outgunned by fragmenting forces which include all sorts of industry issues but also societal ones such as individualism and people having far more jobs through their lifetime.

At the moment the fragmenting forces are in the ascendancy. There are just too many of them and they’re just too strong. But that doesn’t mean we don’t see glimmers of good practice and hope. But unless we move to address some very key themes including the misalignment of incentives, the commercialisation of integrations, and having a shared view of the desired end state, the industry will continue to resemble a Mexican standoff where no-one is pointing their guns at each other. To put it another way: the industry has outsourced integration to adviser firms for two decades. But it won’t wash any more.

Anyway, A Fragmented World is yours to read and download as much as you like here. I hope you get something from it; let me know your thoughts.

HOMEGAME 2

A quick punt if I may for our big event on 5 October in Edinburgh, where we will of course cover A Fragmented World as well as hearing from the FCA, a Scottish Government minister, the chief exec of Fintech Scotland and more. If you are within striking distance of Edinburgh we hope you might come along – we want to show that the big events don’t just have to take place in London, and to do that we need your support. Free for advice professionals; get your seat here.

#LANGCATLINKS

  • Interesting developments in the Transact vs HMRC
  • Farewell to previous podcat guest Guy Opperman; it’s been emotional…
  • FE Fundinfo is growing again with an interesting cross-border acquisition.
  • And your music choice this week – well, any chance you get to spend in a darkened room with Tom McRae is one you should leap at. So here’s one of these chances for you with the extraordinary new single Finger of Doubt. Beautiful video too.

See you next week

Mark

/ Blogs

Impact of poor service

/ White papers

The Impact of Poor Service

We provided the research for a report, in conjunction with Parmenion, which reveals how far short of expectations many adviser platforms are falling. The research found that over the last 12 months, 88% of advisers needed to apologise to at least one of their clients on behalf of a platform, and that poor service delivery from platforms impacts 91% of advisers every day.

Impact of poor service

/ White papers

The Impact of Poor Platform Service

We provided the research for a report, in conjunction with Parmenion, which reveals how far short of expectations many adviser platforms are falling. The research found that over the last 12 months, 88% of advisers needed to apologise to at least one of their clients on behalf of a platform, and that poor service delivery from platforms impacts 91% of advisers every day.

/ White papers

Answering the Call

Service means a lot of things to a lot of different people. It’s so subjective it can be hard to put your finger on. This paper aims to challenge the status quo and inertia that’s built up in the sector for many years.