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Platforms – and the Australian wealth industry

“Platforms” are products that provide administrative services to financial advisers, where they can access investment options in one place and various other support and reporting tools for clients.

Leading into the Hayne Royal Commission, Australia’s major banks began exiting the wealth industry after 20 years of trying to grow by competing amongst themselves to achieve scale. Before the Royal Commission, the non-bank owned platforms struggled to compete as they didn’t have the scale. Additionally, the banks were cross-subsidising by offering discounted advice in order to direct funds into their own products.

The vacuum created by the banks are leaving has resulted in consolidation and ownership changes of various platforms. Some of the recent changes in the platform space has been;

  • IRESS (financial planning software provider) has entered the space by purchasing OneView group (superannuation platform).
  • Westpac has invested heavily in building BT Panorama, with a view to migrate their Asgard and BT Wrap products across.
  • Commonwealth Bank has sold 55% of Colonial First State to the American private equity firm KKR.
  • National Australia Bank is selling MLC Wrap to IOOF.
  • ANZ Bank has sold its OnePath product range to IOOF.
  • AMP owns its North platform, however this is under review as AMP is in turmoil following the Royal Commission.
  • Praemium has purchased Power Wrap to reduce its lure as a takeover target; and to better compete against the likes of fintech offerings Hub24 and Netwealth.

As Goldsborough has its own Australian Financial Services Licence and is not owned by a bank, superannuation fund or insurance company, we have our preferred platform providers and review these on an ongoing basis. We take the fees into account when recommending products to our clients – but more importantly, we take our client’s needs into account when determining which product will suit them best.

Sam Martin
Author
Certified Financial Planner® | Authorised Representative No. 252676

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