Planners increasingly look to Fintech solutions: Investment Trends 2016 Planner Technology Report

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Peker Recep

Peker Recep

Key findings from the Investment Trends 2016 Planner Technology Report:

  • Technology providers’ relationships with financial planners are at risk, with more looking for new platforms and planning software
  • To demonstrate value for money, technology providers need to support planners through increased practice efficiency and client engagement
  • AdviserLogic takes lead in software satisfaction following enhancements to usability and support
  • netwealth achieved the highest platform satisfaction score for the fourth year running

In its thirteenth year, the May 2016 Planner Technology Report is an in-depth study of Australian financial planners and their technology needs. The study is based on a survey of 878 financial planners concluded in May 2016, and identifies key trends in the platform and planning software markets:

Technology providers’ relationships with financial planners are at risk, with more looking for new platforms and planning software

More financial planners are in the market for new platform and planning software relationships this year. The proportion looking to begin using a new platform in the next 12 months increased six percentage points to 23% over the last year. Software relationships tend to be stickier than platform relationships, but even here 19% are after a new software solution, a four percentage point increase from last year.

“One of the key challenges affecting providers in the current environment has been the increased mandatory expenditure on compliance,” said Recep Peker, Head of Research for Wealth Management at Investment Trends. “This means it’s especially important to be responsive to planners’ needs with the remaining development spend, and to provide training to increase the uptake of new enhancements.”

It is important for providers to demonstrate they are meeting planners’ and their clients’ needs, as there is a strong relationship between satisfaction and the intention to switch: Providers with higher user satisfaction typically have a smaller percentage of users looking to switch.

To demonstrate value for money, technology providers need to support planners through increased practice efficiency and client engagement

Financial planners are showing an acute focus on lowering costs throughout every part of the value chain amidst a weak return environment. As such, lower fees are becoming increasingly important to planners when choosing products.

Technology providers are not immune to this trend. For example, after falling for many years, lower fees climbed to become the second most desired improvement from platforms in 2016.

“Providers can remain competitive in this environment by demonstrating value for money,” said Peker. “To do so, it is important to address planners’ key challenges relating to practice efficiency while supporting them with their client engagement efforts.”

“Among other things, the industry has the opportunity to redefine how client reporting and reviews are done in planning practices, with the traditional notion of ‘report’ changing in planners’ eyes,” said Peker.

AdviserLogic takes lead in software satisfaction following enhancements to usability and support

AdviserLogic had the largest increase in user satisfaction from 2015, taking the top spot for overall satisfaction among software providers. Planner satisfaction with AdviserLogic improved the most with training, support, and the ability to produce both simple and comprehensive financial plans.

This has translated into growth in market share, making AdviserLogic planners’ fourth most-used software.

XPLAN extended its lead in the planning software space with 54% of planners using it as their primary software, up from 50% in 2015. The next two providers together hold 24% of primary relationships.

The top three software providers by overall satisfaction score are:

  1. AdviserLogic
  2. Midwinter
  3. AdviserNETgain

netwealth achieved the highest platform satisfaction score for the fourth year running

CFS FirstChoice and BT Wrap lead by share of primary relationships, each used by 16% of financial planners as their preferred platform for new client flows.

HUB24 has been the most successful in capturing new planner relationships. Among those who started using their main platform in the last two years, 10% chose HUB24, ahead of any other platform.

netwealth continues to lead the platform industry by overall adviser satisfaction, achieving the highest user satisfaction score for the fourth year running.

The top three platforms by planner satisfaction are:

  1. netwealth
  2. HUB24
  3. CFS FirstChoice

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