AJ Bell launches online Due Diligence Hub for advisers

AJ Bell has launched an online Due Diligence Hub that outlines the key areas advisers should focus on when selecting the right investment platform for their clients’ needs.

The new Due Diligence Hub features independent content and commentary from FinalytiQ, the lang cat, Platforum and Defaqto. There is also a link to download FinalytiQ’s Advised Platform Report, which includes extensive data and analysis on the financial performance of 26 advised platforms.

AJ Bell’s own due diligence factsheet is another valuable resource that is available to download from the Hub. Based around FCA guidance and the questions that AJ Bell is most commonly asked by advisers, the factsheet includes key information on the company’s financial strength, service, functionality, investment choice and pricing.

The FCA’s Thematic Review TR 16/1 in 2016 shone a spotlight on the quality of due diligence carried out by adviser firms on platforms. This heightened regulatory focus comes at a time when the industry reported pre-tax losses of £19 million (based on financial year 2015 results), prompting concerns over the profitability and financial stability of some platforms. The recent flurry of platform migrations and the challenges that often accompany the process have further highlighted the fact that robust due diligence is now absolutely imperative for advisers.

Billy Mackay, Marketing Director at AJ Bell, comments:

“Platform due diligence has become something of a minefield over the past few years and unfortunately there is no single formula that can be used to navigate the process.  Our teams regularly deal with due diligence-related enquiries and this has enabled us to identify the all-important areas that advisers most regularly seek information on.  Alongside this we have collected the views of a range of well-known industry experts. By sharing all this information on our Due Diligence Hub we aim to make it easy for firms to perform vigorous, smart due diligence and gain greater comfort that they are choosing the most suitable platforms for their clients.

“Industry estimates suggest that £200 billion of customer assets are due to be migrated to new technology in the near future. Having already gone through a re-platforming exercise ourselves, we know it is not easy, and there will inevitably be issues and challenges for any firm that switches to new technology. In light of this it is no surprise that more advisers are at least considering a due diligence review.  Our Hub has been set up to help them by providing a slightly tongue in cheek approach that offers a variety of views on what robust due diligence looks like.”

Visit the Due Diligence Hub here - https://www.investcentre.co.uk/duediligence-hub