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Wrap platforms should stick to their knitting: Coplestone

New Zealand wrap platforms have a better handle on their role in the market than their Australian counterparts, one industry commentator says.

Wednesday, August 5th 2015, 5:59AM 2 Comments

by Susan Edmunds

Heathcote Investment Partners director Clayton Copleston spoke at a conference in Australia last week, where he said platforms that applied prescriptive processes and filters on the products they would accept were overstepping their role and acting as a sort of proxy adviser.

Coplestone said the question arose at the conference about why it was so hard to get products on to the Australian wrap platforms. “I said all they should be doing is administering the process and putting their margin on top. It should be a simple process not a convoluted process of getting support from dealer groups and research … [Australian] platforms have missed their role in life, of facilitating the transaction, and for the last 20 years have been positioning themselves as more than gatekeepers but the judge and the jury. The response was that platforms have a fiduciary duty. Really? That’s like saying the use of technology should come with a fiduciary duty.”

He said New Zealand wrap platforms, such as Aegis, were by contrast very transparent and clear about what the requirements were for a product to be part of a platform.

“They don’t make the decision you can have this one but not that one. If it’s commercial and will be supported, they’ll put it on with an administration margin on top.”

But Ausbil Investment Management head of retail Mark Knight said the Australian set-up was the right one and meant fund managers need to work to ensure their offering was best of breed. "Getting a product on a platform can be tough, real tough. However it is a model that works and the barriers to entry are not entirely negative."

 

Tags: Wrap Platforms

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Comments from our readers

On 5 August 2015 at 9:05 am Brent Sheather said:
Our system and thus our clients don’t need platforms so we can avoid their fees and these sort of distracting issues.

Regards
Brent Sheather
On 5 August 2015 at 5:44 pm John Berry said:
Apologies to Brent for contributing to this distracting discussion, but I think Clayton raises a good point here. Platforms are the infrastructure for making product available - if they put up barriers to accepting product this cannot be in the interests of investors. For Australian platforms to argue they have a fiduciary duty to filter product offerings is nonsense. It is the adviser who knows the client and should decide what meets their needs, not the platform.

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