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Platform One is a UK and International platform service, launched in 2011 by a group of established financial services firms. It has been designed with UK high-net-worth clients in mind, and also to meet the growing needs of the international market-place.
Platform One aims to provide advisers and their clients access to the benefits of a UK regulated wrap platform with good service standards.
Their UK services are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Platform One is registered in England and Wales. Their registered office is in Peartree Business Centre, Cobham Road, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 7PT.
Platform One's services seem to be broadly classified under two categories:
Under their UK offerings, they provide:
Their International offerings include:
The UK service is available to authorised UK and offshore advisers requiring a platform for client assets held in the UK. This means transparent fee-based Retail Distribution Review (RDR) compliant solutions.
The international service is offshore to the UK, and provides a multi-currency, client agreed fee-charging service. There is no initial fund fee, and 100% of any fund annual management charge rebates made by the fund manager are credited to the underlying client’s cash account.
The global service is also offshore to the UK, and offers a “traditional” commission service, with no explicit adviser charges.
Features of the Platform One Hallmark savings plan:
For overseas advisers where RDR does not apply, Platform One provides a “traditional” commission-based alternative, and we do not recommend that.
Please read the 'expert verdict' section of this review for more details.
Additionally, here's a free guide that can help you achieve better results. In this guide, you'll learn:
At first glance we were impressed by the RDR compliant offering, and don’t get us wrong, the Platform One Hallmark savings plan is cheaper than many alternatives, but when we looked at the fees in a little more detail, we realised that they can soon add up.
Total charges could be between 2.5% and 3%, depending on the underlying investments selected.
Charges, as you know, can potentially create a severe drag on performance, which will impact your investment returns.
Unlike the contractual regular savings products offered by the life companies - such as Friends Provident Premier Savings Plan and RL360's Quantum - which can have high cost structures coupled with little flexibility regarding premiums that you have to pay into the policy, or investment choice - the Platform One Hallmark savings plan service offers a scheme for both personal savings and pension contributions that provides some flexibility.
Clients can stop and start contributions as circumstances dictate, or if they so decide, and assuming one is signed up to the RDR compliant relatively low-cost version, it’s simple to operate.
Within the plan, clients or their advisers can choose from over 5,000 risk-rated funds covering all the major world markets and investment classes.
The funds section of Platform One's website contains performance statistics that are updated monthly.
Fund prices are updated daily, and fund fact sheets are also available for download.
I thought there was no commission on this product but I think there was? It's worked out much more expensive that I thought and has impacted my portfolio and returns.
The Platform One Hallmark Savings plan looks to be a good offering (and the UK RDR compliant version also looks good), but international professionals are likely to get a less competitive and less transparent version.
We believe that there are more cost effective and better performing investment options available.
If you’re looking for the strongest possible growth on your investments, and you don’t want that to be undermined by high costs, or you are uncomfortable with your adviser accessing investments through an insurance wrapper and/or receiving kickback commission payments, then you may wish to consider alternative options.
If you already have a Platform One Hallmark Savings Plan and it is worth £250,000 or more, we strongly recommend you seek a Second Opinion to ensure you are on track to get and keep the life you want.