A survey of 270 advisers discovered that 34% are contemplating changing their main platform in the coming 12 months. Cost and investment scope were the most cited reasons for switching platforms.
Larger businesses were found to be more likely to move platforms than their smaller rivals. Some 11% of firms with more than 25 advisers will definitely change platform with another 26% are considering it. Only 3% of sole traders will definitely switch and 28% are considering it.
Andy Beswick, intermediary director at Aviva, commented: "A lot of advisers have already looked at, and refined, their business models and client propositions in light of RDR, so it isn’t surprising that a large number of them are considering new platforms based on a new set of requirements and expectations from their clients.”
The research also showed that the functionality of online services is the most important factor when it comes to choosing a new platform, cited by 70% of advisers.
This is followed by choice of funds under management (49%), research capabilities (42%), compliance and risk management support (39%) and integration with back office systems (36%).
Just 7% referred to cost in their list of selection priorities, despite this being a top reason for prompting the decision to move platforms.
"Advisers know what they need from platforms and have their own individual priorities. What’s important is that platform providers understand that these needs and priorities are not universal,” Beswick added.
"It’s unlikely a single platform will meet the needs for all clients or all advisers, providers will therefore need to be clear about what they stand for and back this up with appropriate propositions."