First audit of European platform industry revealed

The Platforum has produced the first European platform audit, finding that an estimated €740 billion (£618 billion) is held in assets under administration on open architecture platforms.

According to The Platforum’s research, Britain, France, Germany and Italy held €538 billion in assets under administration between them.

The Platforum’s European Platform Guide focuses on five countries – Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain – which accounted for almost 75% of funds under management in 2009.

The research finds that charging models across European platforms are “still largely rebate-driven”, whereas Britain has a more emerging unbundled model in which newer entrants levy an administration fee.

The research reveals Fidelity was the dominant platform across Northern Europe with combined British and German assets – through its ownership of Fondsbank – of €56 billion. Allfunds Bank was one of the dominant players in southern Europe with total assets under administration of €55 billion.

The southern European platform market is dominated by banks, the research shows, unlike the British and German markets, where open architecture models are more prevalent.

The largest open architecture platforms across Europe included Allfunds Bank, Britain’s Cofunds, Fidelity, Fund Channel and Skandia, each with more than €35 billion in third-party funds.

The Platforum also finds an international platform market dominated by Allfunds Bank, MFEX and RBC Dexia, while Fund Channel in France continues to explore opportunities.
Holly Mackay, the managing director of The Platforum, says “consistent consumer themes” will determine the global development of platforms.

Mackay says: “This consumer demand, coupled with stronger regulation and improved operating and technology systems, set the scene for a European platform market.”

The research also reveals a convergence towards more guided architecture models in the principal European countries.

The Platforum also highlights a convergence between the platform models, with all countries moving towards more institutional platform types.

More than 40 platforms across Europe were interviewed and assessed for the European Platform Guide.