Dramatic changes ahead for platforms

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The popularity of platforms handling risk, investments and superannuation, continues to grow with advisers and customers.

And as everything becomes available ‘under one roof’, the days of clients receiving six different annual advice communications in the mail, are over. Or they will be soon.

The last piece of the puzzle is platforms offering multiple insurers. Zurich national manager – sales strategies and research, Marc Fabris, says that this step will only be a matter of time.

“I think that what we will see over the next two or three years is a continuation of this trend where platforms will need to provide the insurer choice, and not all of them are doing so yet,” says Fabris.

Zurich has just become the third insurer available on the Netwealth super and non-super platforms. At the moment, Netwealth is the only platform that has three insurers, according to Fabris.

He says that there are many advantages for advisers to have everything available under the one roof. Insurers can’t be all things to all people, says Fabris, so advisers need to have insurer choice and don’t necessarily want to go to multiple platforms for that choice.

“Either you need multiple insurers on multiple platforms, or you need a platform that gives you all of that choice so that that perception of the wide choice is there for your client.

“It might not happen in the next six to 12 months, but I think certainly over the next two to three years we’ll see a dramatic change across the market.”

Clients will also benefit from the consolidation by having simplified levels of communication rather than so many different documents, says Fabris.

“...The communication the platforms have for their insurance, it’s only in the last year or two that you’re seeing this being adopted...

“If you know your clients do want to be able to access their information on their investments and their insurance, and they can go to one place to do so, it’s just part of their value proposition I suppose.”

He says the level of communication for insurance is still only basic and will need to be broadened.

“So those kinds of things will gradually improve I think, so that there is pretty well everything that you need to find under the one roof or the one login. So we’re not quite there yet but I think we’re well down the path.”