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The platform consolidation race

Mike Teall, pensions and investment expert at PA Consulting, explains the possible outcomes of the current consolidation of platforms.

The article discusses industry experts’ views on the race to consolidate the technology platforms, demonstrating some key figures on the consolidation in the European platform market.

Mike says: "The choice of platforms for IFAs has been decreasing for a number of years – illustrated by Aegon’s £140m acquisition of Cofunds and Standard Life’s £31m acquisition of Elevate in 2016."

He goes on to say that the recent acquisitions made by FNZ demonstrate the consolidation of technology providers. "It remains to be seen whether such consolidation results in enhanced experiences for advisers and clients through ‘best of both’ feature selection, or whether the principle driver is scale efficiency – and, if so, whether that is passed on to customers. Early signs are good, though, and FNZ’s focus on providing software as a service architecture will potentially enable increased innovation in the experiences advisers can offer their clients", he adds. 

"It also raises the question of concentration risk in the market. As firms tighten their management of third parties under the European Banking Authority’s recent guidelines on outsourcing, technology providers will increasingly be scrutinised by large pension and investment providers to ensure they are resilient to external threats such as cybercrime and can maintain a reliable service to clients", Mike adds.

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