how platform analyser began
The lang cat has supported large and small – but mainly large – adviser firms with bespoke consultancy-based platform due diligence for years. Through working on exercises for books of business in the billions, we developed a data set and a methodology which we are sure is robust, and which offers a genuine, logic-driven audit trail matching platforms’ capabilities with the needs of your target client segments.
The problem was that each exercise we did was seriously time-consuming, and so didn’t come cheap, which put it out of reach of many adviser firms. That didn’t feel right to us, so we worked on putting everything we’d learned over the years into a system which we could offer at a reasonable cost. What you get in Platform Analyser, then, is a software version of what we’ve done for some of the UK’s biggest and best advice businesses.
But it’s more than that. In creating Platform Analyser we’ve worked with a brilliant and talented crew of advice professionals. Our data set has widened considerably. Our methodology was challenged by this mix of expert advisers, paraplanners and administrators. We learned a huge amount. We’re better as a result. And it’s all up there on the screen.
this is what you get
When you run your due diligence using Platform Analyser you get a (shortened) version of what we’d do on a bespoke consulting exercise – a detailed report, defining your shortlist and platform panel and a record of every decision you’ve made and justification you’ve provided along the way so you have a detailed audit trail. One of the great things about Platform Analyser is it records every decision you make, including why you exclude platforms, and remembers it forever.
However, it’s way more than that. Due diligence and platform suitability isn’t a one-and-done exercise. So neither is Analyser. You can run as many reports as you like and re-visit existing reports, using them as a template. Platforms, naturally, update their data on a regular basis as their propositions change and we expand our data set in line with how the market develops. So, when you re-run a previous exercise, you can use the same target market requirements, but re-populate it with fresh market data. If your requirements haven’t changed, you can re-run your due diligence for a target client segment in about four minutes.
In short, our aim when we designed Analyser was to squish platform suitability and selection. Something that took weeks takes a couple of hours the first time you do it with Analyser. The second time and subsequent times take minutes. Unless you enjoy playing with platform data, of course. We won’t judge you.
A little word here about the platforms themselves. Providing proposition data to folk like us is no fun for the platforms. So we built each platform a portal where proposition managers can update their own details. If they build a new widget, or integrate with a new system, they can upload that easily. We see what they’ve done, we check their work and challenge it if we think we need to. As a result we think we have the most robust and accurate set of proposition data in the UK. Many lang cats have worked in platform design and build – we know the truth when we see it and we know where the bodies are buried.
We also jealously guard our independence and the independence of Analyser. No platform can pay to be on it, or not to be on it. We don’t charge listing fees or offer platforms premium marketing packages. And we don’t try and shrink-wrap the incredible variety and nuance of this sector into ratings which get sold back to platforms who then use them as a marketing tool for the unwary. It’s nonsensical to us that a professional advice firm in this day and age would pick a platform based on a commercial rating. So if it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t work for us, and we don’t do it.
ABOUT THE LANG CAT
Mark Polson founded the lang cat in 2010 to gently remind providers that the people who buy their products will only do so if they are designed with their needs in mind and communicated in a way that makes sense to them.
Nearly a decade later and, while the lang cat has grown in numbers, influence and reputation, that core purpose remains unchanged and we now provide consultancy, insight, strategic comms and PR services to clients on four continents.
Working across platforms, pension and investment providers, advisers, fund managers and technology providers we define, develop and bring to life propositions and communications that work for their intended audience.