The average number of platforms used by advisers has reached a 10-year high, but there is still work to be done.
The second part of Investment Trends' 2022 Adviser Technology Needs report — which looked at the evolving technology needs for planners — reported that the use of multiple platforms has reached an average of three, which the research firm is saying is due to "advisers increasing the proportion of new business directed to their secondary platform at the expense of their main platform".
However, the percentage of new inflows by advisers through platforms has dipped to 71 per cent on average (from 76 per cent in 2021), though the long-term trend remains stable with 73 per cent expected in three years' time.
“While the longer-term trend in net inflows is promising, the competition for adviser relationships is fierce in an already tightly contested platform space," Investment Trends research director Dougal Guild said.
"It’s not surprising to see the increased average of the number of platforms used hitting a 10-year high given the prioritisation of efficiency and reliability by advisers now more than ever."
Despite the increasing use of multiple platforms, the study found that overall adviser satisfaction with platforms dropped from 72 per cent last year to 67 per cent.
The research showed that advisers are looking for more efficiency gains from providers, with lack of support being the biggest reason for platform dissatisfaction.
About 34 per cent of advisers have stopped using a platform in the last 12 months.
“In this highly competitive market, it is imperative that platforms are listening to the needs of advisers," Mr Guild added.
"With fees and capabilities becoming more consistent across providers, advisers are placing an increasing focus on platform reliability and quality of service support."
Part one of the Investment Trends' report, released earlier this week, noted that compliance and ongoing regulatory changes remain the greatest challenges for Australian advisers.
Compliance burden was identified as the biggest challenge (65 per cent), followed by the ability to provide affordable advice (41 per cent) and regulatory change (40 per cent).
The study reported that as advisers continue to use new solutions such as client relationship management systems (CRMs) and standalone modelling tools, they are demanding a better integration between the systems.
“Affordable advice is a key concern across the industry, with advisers looking to technology solutions to support their ongoing compliance and client engagement," Mr Guild said.
"Greater integration can make a material difference and has also been proven to boost confidence levels."