Research and Markets has revealed the addition of the "UK IFAs, Investment Managers and Platforms 2017" report.
Independent financial advisors (IFAs) are a key distribution network for investors in the United Kingdom. Product providers will do well to understand the priorities and criteria advisors use in choosing their investment partners and platforms, particularly with an increasing tendency to cooperate with discretionary fund managers (DFMs). As nearly all advisors in the UK use a platform or several platforms to manage their clients' assets, understanding why certain platforms are favored above others remains crucial. Online access to platforms is important for IFAs, which will continue to leverage digital capabilities to remain relevant.
Specifically the report examined the role IFAs have in providing financial services. As well as, details market developments and the evolving landscape of the UK market. It analyzed the most important features IFAs consider when selecting platforms.The companies that offer the most attractive platform packages were identified. The report also features the criteria for selection of pension fund providers.
There is a range of essential findings unleashed through the research. For instance, UK fund platforms continue to grow their market share by providing both advisors and direct investors with access to a range of products. In 2015 these platforms accounted for 52% of industry gross retail sales. The attractiveness of products is driven by cost along with the quality of administrative and reporting functions. Furthermore, beyond these two features, the investment fund range is also important to advisors. Investment product providers are regularly assessed by IFAs, with 47.3% carrying out reviews more than once a year. In addition, 91% of advisors use platforms, with the majority relying on more than one. The three most widely used platforms are Old Mutual, Fidelity Funds Network, and Aviva.There is also increasing interest in the use of model portfolios and discretionary portfolio management, driven by clients' preference for a better investment range and less administration.Finally, cost is the main driver for switching platforms, highlighting the increasingly commoditized nature of the service.