Adviser Satisfaction with Tech Suppliers Surges: NextWealth Report Reveals Upward Trend

By Next Wealth | 25 September 2023 | 4 minute read

Authored by Chat GPT with input from Heather Hopkins

In the ever-evolving landscape of financial advisory technology, a ray of optimism shines through. According to NextWealth’s latest Adviser Tech Stack report, the level of satisfaction among financial advisers with their tech suppliers has seen a significant upswing since 2021. This uplifting trend is based on an extensive analysis that incorporates over 4,000 reviews from advisory firms and a survey of 244 financial advice professionals.
The numbers tell an encouraging story. In 2021, a mere 27% expressed satisfaction with their tech providers, marking a low point in advisor contentment. Fast forward to today, and we find a remarkable improvement, with 43% now reporting satisfaction—a clear testament to the strides made within the industry since then. This figure also represents an increase from the 2022 satisfaction level of 38%.

As we reflect on this positive shift, it’s crucial to consider the context. The pandemic ushered in a period of dissatisfaction among advisers, particularly in their assessment of services offered by tech providers. However, this recent surge in satisfaction signals a promising trajectory.

Nevertheless, this newfound contentment comes with a caveat: tech suppliers might now face a more challenging landscape in acquiring new clients. Our research reveals an 11% drop in the number of firms interested in adopting new tech solutions, with just over a third (38%) indicating they are open to change.

Back Office: The Rising Star

Among the various categories assessed, back-office systems scored the lowest. However, there’s a silver lining: they have shown year-on-year improvements in all criteria except value for money. Notably, intelliflo office continues to dominate this category with a commanding 52% market share. Additionally, satisfaction scores have risen, marking the first increase since the inception of this study.

It’s a gratifying sight to witness positive movement in intelliflo office reviews. Service levels have improved, and system reliability is on the upswing. Furthermore, there’s heightened competition within this category, with numerous large firms building and deploying their own back-office systems and several new entrants vying for attention.

Platforms: An Ascending Trajectory

Platform scores have seen an uptick, rising from 3.64 to 3.92 (out of 5). This improvement is attributed to strong positive gains by a select few, including Quilter and 7IM. These firms have significantly bolstered the category average.
While more platforms received mixed reviews this year, the category’s overall performance improved, thanks to the stellar performance of a handful of firms. Notably, 7IM and Quilter both achieved average scores above 4 out of 5. M&G Wealth also made impressive gains in scores, albeit from a lower starting point.

Cash Flow Modelling: A Positive Outlook

Dynamic Planner’s cashflow tool received the highest marks among users and maintained a solid market share of 9%. Meanwhile, CashCalc increased its market share from 30% to 33%.

The overall score for all cashflow providers witnessed an increase of 0.12 points to 3.72, driven by strong improvements in the scores for ‘support provided’ (+0.22) and ‘integration with other tech’ (+0.17).

Risk and Suitability: Dynamic Planner Leads the Way

The market for risk and suitability providers remains crowded, but Dynamic Planner continues to lead, with user reviews showing improvement.

Client Portals: A Shifting Landscape

Intelliflo continues to be the most utilised provider for client portals. This year, we observe a continued rise in financial advice firms adopting client portals provided by platforms. These platform-provided tools earn high scores for value for money (3.83 out of 5), explaining their increasing adoption by advisers. The ascent of the Platform+ model is driving more platforms to offer additional services, with client portals being a prominent feature.

In conclusion, this year’s results are brimming with positive news. Financial advice firms, on the whole, are expressing greater satisfaction with their tech partners. Tech plays a critical role in shaping the client experience and driving efficiency. These results also underscore that advisers are becoming less inclined to switch tech providers, making it increasingly challenging for new entrants to break into the industry.

The future of technology in financial advisory looks promising, and the industry is poised for continued growth and innovation.

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