UK IFAs, Investment Managers, and Platforms

Date: 2016-03

Independent financial advisors (IFAs) are a key distribution network for investment managers, meaning that understanding IFAs’ preferences is crucial for investment product providers seeking to succeed through this channel. Over the past decade platforms have emerged as the channel through which both advisors and direct retail investors increasingly access investment products: over half of gross retail sales were conducted through platforms in 2014. Most advisors rely on multiple platforms in serving their clients, reflecting the fact that platforms differ in terms of their pricing and service offering.

Key Findings
– The attractiveness of platforms is first and foremost driven by the investment fund range they offer. Another key consideration is investment fund returns. Beyond products and performance, low costs are important to advisors.

– Investment product providers are regularly reviewed by IFAs. 30% review their investment product providers quarterly and 45% do so annually.

– Platform sales account for a growing percentage of gross retail fund sales. 94% of advisors use platforms, with the majority relying on more than one. The three most widely used platforms are Old Mutual, Cofunds, and FundsNetwork.

– There is increasing interest in the use of model portfolios and discretionary portfolio management driven by clients’ preference for specialist advice and the need for additional expertise where it is not available in-house.

– Online is the main channel of communication. Nearly three quarters of IFAs communicate with investment providers online on a weekly basis.

Verdict Financial’s “UK IFAs, Investment Managers, and Platforms” is a comprehensive analysis of what UK IFAs value in their investment product providers and the platforms that they use. Drawing from our 2015 IFA Survey, the report offers insight into which platforms advisors use, the key features they value, and what motivates them to consider switching providers.

The report also offers insight into:

– The importance of IFAs as a distribution channel

– What motivates IFAs to rely on third-party asset managers

– How to cultivate relationships with advisors

Reasons To Buy
– Receive a comprehensive overview of what investment product and platform features IFAs look for.

– Get fact-based insight into the IFA market from our proprietary 2015 IFA Survey.

– Identify how to remain competitive by understanding IFA preferences.”

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