Advisers put the bulk of their clients’ assets on platforms for a few main reasons: access to multiple tax wrappers as well as better portfolio management and reporting capabilities. However, what lies behind an adviser’s decision to use a particular platform?

We investigate this question in depth as part of our latest UK Adviser Platforms: Platform Selection report.

The top-level answer is cost, with charges generally paid by the client. But the story is not that simple.

Advisers overwhelmingly tell us they balance cost against other factors that include functionality and customer service – something that is particularly important for the platforms that advisers use most. A decency limit often applies for charges, below which only the other factors apply.

For advisers’ secondary platforms, cost is certainly at the forefront of advisers’ minds – so long as they can deliver their service.

There are occasions when platforms can do little to affect an adviser’s selection. When a client, or one of their family, has existing platform assets, those assets tend to remain in place, and new flows will often join them.

Charges remain key to platform selection. However – as platform charges continue to converge towards standardised, acceptable levels – service and functionality will increasingly determine which platforms are selected for clients.

Platforum has recently published UK Adviser Platforms: Platform Selection, looking at how advisers choose platforms for their clients in addition to providing our quarterly updates of advisers’ reviews of platforms and adviser platform market data as at Q2 2022The next report on adviser platforms will cover pricing, and will be published in October. Please get in touch for more information.