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Netwealth tops rankings but Praemium continues to flex

Platform benchmark reporting shows growing competition
In Practice

Netwealth has reclaimed its top spot for the sixth time, trading places with HUB24, with a satisfaction score of 91.5 percent for its overall platform functionality in the latest Investment Trends Platform Benchmarking and Competitive Analysis Report.

However, it’s become a close race between three platforms, Netwealth, UB24 and Praemium, all of which scored over 89% in the Investment Trends analysis. The rankings are as follows:

  • Netwealth (overall score of 91.5%)
  • HUB24 (91.1%)
  • Praemium (89.3%)
  • BT Panorama (85.1%)
  • Mason Stevens (82.6%)

All platforms saw a rise in their scores, with Mason Stevens seeing the largest rise, up 8.9 percentage points on its 2020 levels. Sarah Brennan, CEO at Investment Trends, said: “As a collective, platforms are raising their game. An enormous capability uplift was observed across the board in the specific areas of reporting, data security and integration – all in a concerted effort to support the continued digitisation of adviser practices and their compounding compliance burden.”

  • Platforms have “emphatically heeded” calls for support from advisers, said Brennan. “To address the new fee consent obligations, all platforms have offered digitised templates, enhanced tracking and notifications. With respect to the Design and Distribution Obligations (DDO), we note with interest HUB24’s integrated online chat tool through which advisers can raise complaints and report significant dealings.”

    Praemium has consolidated its top three position, with the largest percentage gain of the top four platforms in the Investment Trends Platform Competitive Analysis and Benchmarking Report 2021.

    Of the six categories that comprise the report, Praemium was rated number one in three categories, the most wins for any platform assessed in the report. This included Online Business Management, Decision Support Tools and Security and Data Integration.

    The report also highlighted the Covid-19-driven movement to digitisation and digital client engagement is showing no sign of abating. Instead, it has inspired platforms to innovate and disrupt with a focus on digital consent and workflow. Macquarie WRAP and Mason Stevens are the only platforms to track progress of client requests including date and time stamps.

    The fast adoption of ESG has seen platforms rapidly increasing ESG research, tools and products to meet the growing demand and importance of ESG in investor portfolios. Macquarie even partnered with Morningstar to provide advisers with tools to compare sustainability ratings such as carbon designation, fund profiles, and new ESG SMAs.

    The growing importance of ESG was also illustrated in developments by BT Panorama, Macquarie WRAP and Praemium to allow advisers to compare ESG options. CFS First Choice and North have added ESG options as discrete investment strategies.

    “These results showcase the agility with which all platforms have been able to respond to the dynamic business and regulatory environment. It is an exciting and fast-moving space that we’ll continue watching with keen interest,” said Brennan.

    As well as new the new ESG functionalities, platforms across the board are innovating and transforming to this new digital landscape. At the same time, platforms across the board have developed tools to better identify sophisticated investors, better support their product offering and upgrade their reporting tools.

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