Leading research and ratings provider Chant West today launched a new ratings service which assesses the quality of Australian platform providers.

Reflecting Chant West’s well known apple ratings scale used to assess and rate super and pension funds, the new ratings use unique criteria to assess the features, services and investments provided by platforms to both advisers and clients.

Ian Fryer, Chant West General Manager, said that the platform ratings was a direct response to market feedback for a comprehensive assessment that helped advisers compare platforms and assess their core features and capabilities in key areas.

“Through our experience reviewing and rating super and pension funds over many decades, we’ve developed a wealth of knowledge and experience in understanding how a platform operates and how it interacts with and supports the advice community,” he said.

The platform ratings methodology focuses on five main criteria: adviser services, investments, fees, member services and organisational strengths, with the most important and heavily weighted feature being adviser services.

“We consider adviser services the most important part of a platform’s offering. The benefit of a platform is that it offers greater efficiencies to advisers to enable them to focus on providing strategic advice to their clients, rather than spending time on platform administration. This is an important contributor to providing strong member outcomes for platform clients,” Fryer said.

The adviser services component includes criteria such as the quality of the platform’s adviser portal and other digital tools, the process for buying and selling assets, business level reporting and client reporting capabilities, as well as contact centre, technical and practice management support.

While the platform ratings is a new service, Chant West has already rated a selection of the market’s key platform providers with demand expected to grow for the new service.

“We expect to rate more platforms over time including some of the retail master trusts. The platform rating is appropriate for all products that financial advisers use to provide flexible solutions for their clients,” Fryer said.




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