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Sense Network and The lang cat partner on platform due diligence


Financial services consultancy The lang cat has been commissioned by Sense, a whole of market adviser network, to provide its members with proposition detail and due diligence support for platform selection.

The lang cat is to produce a bespoke edition of its quarterly platform market scorecard, incorporating a full pricing analysis of special terms that Sense members may have with any chosen platform provider. Specially created heatmaps will show how much Sense members’ clients will pay across a range of platform pricing points. The lang cat will also provide a full analysis of functionality and latest market developments and run a series of webinars for members.
Mark Polson, principal at The lang cat, says: “We’ve passed the point now where it’s tenable for any platform to suggest that it’s anything other than a fundamental part of what helps advisers create the right outcomes for clients. As vertical integration and restricted advice propositions have grown in popularity, it’s clear that platforms fundamentally shape the services advisers offer. As a result, rigorous platform selection is more crucial than ever. Sadly, it’s still far too time-consuming for advisers to really get to grips with what each platform’s advantages and drawbacks are. Most can only be experienced; not described unless you have the time to really dig in.
“We know it’s difficult for advisers to undertake and evidence strategic platform selection. Yet with the Platform Market Review set to report in the summer, you can be sure there is going to be even more to think about.  We are delighted to provide Sense members with practical resource to give them more insight to assist with their independent selections.”
Catherine Mellor, Head of Development at Sense, says: “Platforms continue to play an integral role in the provision of investment and pensions advice to clients yet choosing which platform to invest clients’ money through remains challenging. Regular price alterations, well-publicised technology difficulties, and likely changes to some platforms’ ownership make it more important than ever to keep knowledge of the market up to date and to make the right decisions for clients.
“We are delighted to improve the support we provide to our members by partnering with The lang cat to provide our members access to its up to date intelligence. We have already had very positive feedback from advisory firms on the quality and value of The lang cat documents.”
James Wetherall, Director of IFA firm Wetherall’s, says: “A thorough and well-presented report that is a great resource for Sense members conducting platform due diligence.  It is so refreshing to see data presented in such a visually interesting way and with a rare sense of humour too.  We are pleased to have access to resources from The lang cat and think we will get a lot of value out of this new relationship”.
The latest lang cat quarterly Platform Market Scorecard, released last month, estimated that 90 per cebt of advised platform assets are being subject to some major form of business disruption, primarily re-platforming and ownership change, potentially causing advisers to re-examine their choice of platform. In May of this year alone, tens of billions of pounds will be replatformed as the Aegon/Cofunds and Ascentric exercises are planned to complete.

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