The Future of Platforms - Jason Entwistle (HUB24)



Perspectives Editor

Open architecture, artificial intelligence and the personalisation of platforms, are part of the next stage in the evolutionary development of platforms.

This was the view of Hub24 Director - Strategic Development, Jason Entwistle, who said platforms today had never been more cheaper, more efficient and more scaleable than at any time before.

Speaking at the InvestTech 2017 conference in Sydney, Entwistle believed platforms would continue to evolve, providing users with greater functionality and an automated, personalised service.

“The future of platforms is about improving client outcomes,” he said. “We’ll see an explosion of algorithmic models and artificial intelligence that will enhance the client experience.”

One trend identified by Entwistle for the future of platforms was the rise of ‘self-service’, with more consumers looking to go direct.

“We’re seeing this already with the Alibaba Money Market Fund,” Entwistle said. “It has 370 million investors and inflows of $221 billion in just four years. And then there’s robo advice in the U.S., which is predicted to reach $7 trillion by 2025.

“Technology will enable consumers to choose when and how they seek advice. There will be the self-directed investor who will use the likes of Alibaba, and there will be hybrid and full advice models as well,” he said. “However, self-directed advice shouldn’t be seen as a risk to good financial planning advice practices that provide a quality service.”

Entwistle also identified technology integration and artificial intelligence as trends that will impact the evolutionary path of platforms.

“Open architecture is creating better integration opportunities for platforms,” he said. “For clients, it means they will be able to design their own platform, allowing users to choose their own framework, like their preferred CRM system.

“And artificial intelligence (machine learning) will change the industry and our lives forever. Machines with artificial intelligence will be able to perform specific algorithmic tasks better than humans.”

However, Entwistle believed it was unlikely that artificial intelligence would change planner/client relationships. “Artificial intelligence is an amazing opportunity for planners. It will provide them with more intuitive tools to deliver an enhanced advice service and improved client outcomes.”

Entwistle identified seven areas in which the future development of platforms will ultimately change planner business models:

  • Platforms will be able to support planners who choose to self-licence or are boutique;
  • They will enable the affordable servicing of more clients;
  • Platforms will improve customer service;
  • They will service the digital nomads;
  • Platforms will enable users to choose their own technology ecosystem;
  • They will provide greater access to amazing investment management solutions; and
  • Platforms will allow planners to more easily collaborate with allied professionals, like accountants.

“Platforms aren’t at risk of dying out any time soon, just as long as platform providers continue to invest in them,” Entwistle said. “Instead, open architecture, artificial intelligence and the personalisation of platforms for users, will see platforms continue to evolve and adapt to changing market conditions.”

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