Aside from creating more choice for advisers and their clients, the proliferation of platforms has already led to a significant degree of consolidation, and this is expected to continue. The merger between Westpac and St George brought the BT Wrap and Asgard platforms together under one umbrella; the Australian Wealth Management and IOOF Holdings merger includes the Skandia platform business; and NAB acquired Aviva Australia’s wealth management business, including Navigator. Clancy says platforms are at an “interesting crossroads” in development, and the focus has evolved beyond “a fairly rudimentary” drive for choice, simplicity and efficiency. “Going forward the drive to innovate is huge,” he says. “In any marketplace as you get scale and experience costs inevitably come down and there’s a lot of competitive pressure to make platforms more efficient and a government requirement to continue to drive down costs within the super system.”

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