You always know when it’s spring because it starts snowing. This is the Universe’s way of having a little fun with you; one week it’s taps aff and paggers in the Meadows; the next the heating is back on and the big duvet is out the cupboard again.

The Universe enjoys its little jokes, does the Universe. How else could it be that just as hairdressers and barber shops are reopening, I have an hilarious clipper-related incident that ends up with me looking like Gregg Wallace? That noise you can hear is a group of deities somewhere trying really hard not to throw up because they’re laughing so hard.

(Said tonsure will be visible today at 12.30pm, by the way, if you pop in to see HomeGames with the excellent and conventionally coiffed Jackie Boylan from FundsNetwork. A double treat while you finish off your religious chocolate.)

The last week has been a big one for us publishing stuff – I won’t detain you long with it but our quarterly Adviser Briefing came out and our big annual guide to the advised platform market – State of the Platform Nation – came out too. If you’re a normal-sized adviser firm, the only way you can get these is by subscribing to Platform Analyser.

One of the things we’ve released is the latest quarterly wave of platform service ratings, and I thought that might be of interest to you in this holiday week. The top five platforms for service overall, as voted for by you, were:

  1. P1 Platform
  2. True Potential
  3. Praemium
  4. Parmenion
  5. Wealthtime

So that’s an interesting state of affairs. Firstly, congrats to P1 which hasn’t appeared in the ratings before, but has come straight in in first place here, and that’s a performance the lads will be proud of, they put in a big effort today against strong opposition, all credit to them, and…you get it.

All five of these got exceptional scores – and apart from TP, all are at the smaller end of the platform AUA range. There’s something in this and it goes beyond small sample sizes and platforms encouraging supporters to rate them well. Judging by the more detailed stuff subscribers will get to see, the more personal, getting-to-know-all-about-you type service offered by these firms really, genuinely delights firms who use them. All are primary-type platforms; firms who use them tend to really use them as opposed to dropping a client on from time to time. That helps too.

TP is a different kettle of fish, of course – if you’ve bought into the ecosystem and become part of the TP gang then you will naturally tend to love the one you’re with. Even allowing for that and for standard-issue TP exuberance in encouraging users to respond, this is a big result.

If we were to miss out sub £20bn firms and concentrate on the ‘biggies’, we’d see Transact well out in front, with AJ Bell a fair bit behind in second. Standard Life across Wrap and Elevate and OMW would be pretty close for third, with OMW edging it and then FNW just missing out on the podium. Aviva and Aegon would be applauding politely from the sidelines.

HAVE YOUR SAY

We’ll be opening up this quarter’s platform service ratings tomorrow – you can find them here and we’ll write to you then to ask you to take part. It takes but 4 minutes and means a lot to us. All respondents who leave their details also get a summary playback of the results. Cheers.

LINKS SPRING TO LIFE

I’m off next week so your Update will be handled by…haven’t decided yet. If there’s a cat you want to hear from let me know.

See you soon

Mark