The due diligence we complete on platforms is comprehensive, robust and repeated. The prodding and probing is uncomfortable and at least one platform head has had to admit their platform did not work in the way they expected it to.Platforms are built for advisers and that is fantastic, but DFMs are not advisers.This is bit more detailed and perhaps includes some key requirements - do you want all your models rebalanced while sharing a love of classical music? because of course, we are too busy to really get to know you.
You might have a fantastic front-end for data capture but I do not have any relationship with the underlying client, so why is that relevant to me?
Can your platform handle a rebalance for thousands of clients and their model portfolios? Are the assets available on your platform available across all wrappers?
We have seen increased flows into our model portfolios and we have a responsibility to our advisers and their clients to ensure that the technology works.
If we want to rebalance our models on a monthly basis but the technology does not work, that does not sound like a good outcome for clients.
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If I have not looked into the whites of the eyes of the head of a platform (candles and dinner optional), we simply would not move forward with a platform relationship As those blonde-haired, blue-eyed platforms continue to flutter their eyelashes at us handsome DFMs, we should remember those words of our parents.
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As I interact with the heads of platforms, it strikes me there are three approaches to platform due diligence by DFMs: This is based purely on looks and is where the marketers show their worth.
Shallow, superficial, and vain DFMs could be coerced into a relationship just because of a shiny new platform. Consultants are good at this: the elevator pitch, selling yourself in three minutes and if I like the look of you then we're on ...
That being said, it is most surprising the number of platforms that simply roll out a highly-polished business development individual, flutter some website in front of us, tell us all about the relationship they want to have with us and assume that is where the date ends.