Demise of investment platforms for SMSFs “premature”, says Class Super

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Predictions of the demise of investment platforms in the SMSF market have been, at least, “premature”, according Class Ltd.

The latest Class SMSF Benchmark Report finds that investment platforms have maintained their share of SMSFs over the past two years, though there has been a shift towards non-aligned platforms.

The September quarter report finds that 18.5% of SMSFs on Class Super use an investment platform, including wraps, Individually Managed Account (IMA) or Separately Managed Account (SMA), up from 17.8% in September 2014.

However the research found that most institutional platforms declined compared to non-aligned platforms.

“While all platforms increased the value of SMSF assets they held, most institutional platform providers lost ground compared to their non-aligned peers, especially Praemium, HUB24 and netwealth,” said Class Ltd.

“The notable exception among the institutions was BT, which was able to build on its leading position and grow from 41% to 46% of all platform assets. Excluding BT, institutional platforms saw their share of platform assets drop from 47% to 40%.”

The research also found that SMSFs with platforms have different asset allocations that those that don’t. SMSFs with platforms held less cash and direct property, but have almost three times as much invested in managed funds.

“This Benchmark Report provides one of the most representative pictures of how SMSFs are using investment platforms and how that has changed over recent times,” said Class CEO Kevin Bungard.

“The investment market is developing rapidly as competition intensifies but so are the platforms, with the growth of managed account products for example. Class has long recognised the importance to our clients of supporting platforms, such as through the implementation of live data feeds and the integration of platform product providers.”

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