The platform market is evolving with a larger choice of providers offering white-label solutions. There is also increased interest in advisory /discretionary investment management firms wanting to offer bespoke platform solutions to their clients to extend the visibility of their brand and build client loyalty.
Becoming a platform service provider typically involves an application to the FCA for authorisation or setting up an Appointed Representative firm to deliver the service.
Under a white labelled platform proposition, the platform service provider licences their platform portal to an adviser / discretionary management firm. The adviser firm / discretionary manager then badges the portal as its own.
From a regulatory perspective you need to make sure that your proposition is demonstrably in the best interests of your clients and not merely to benefit your firm. A platform may not be suitable for all clients and client suitability is paramount.
From a commercial perspective you need to make sure that the platform(s) you choose to partner with can deliver the services that both you and your clients need.
While these choices can offer benefits to firms and to their clients, implementing one of these options is likely to represent a significant change to your business operations. Considerable senior management commitment is required:
- To co-ordinate the necessary planning and due diligence
- To oversee the process of analysing the impact on the firm’s financial and operational resilience
To help advisers who are considering transitioning, threesixty has recently published a platform guide, to remind firms of their regulatory obligations when operating in the platform market.
To request a copy of this guide, please email email@example.com stating your name, company name and FCA number.