It is a truth universally acknowledged that I know exactly nothing about foopball; it’s the wrong shaped ball for this particular egg-chaser. Being Scottish, this is normally not an issue when major tournaments roll around, but this year is different. First, we seem inexplicably to have made it through to whatever this stage of the Euros is, and secondly the lang kitten v2.0, now a worldly 10 years old, is opining on goalkeeper quality in the Low Countries or something and I’m trying to stave off the point at which he realises I’m a total fraud and/or beta cuck as far as this game goes. But as my sainted father once pointed out, any game where you’re not allowed to stamp on other people’s heads is for…well, it was a different age.

Anyway, if anyone has any pearls of wisdom I can drop to sound convincing to my 10-year old, I’d really appreciate it. I know giving me parenting tips on how to feign masculinity isn’t what you signed up for when you ticked ‘subscribe’ but hey ho, it’s what you’re getting.

What got me thinking about this was the theme of concentration – everyone will no doubt be fully engaged in the kickball – and how that becomes an issue of infrastructure so quickly. We saw this with the problems that the Glastonbury live stream had, and just yesterday half the internet went down – but not Platform Analyser because we’re much too small, sorry, resilient – when Fastly temporarily became at home to Professor Bork.

As life and the industry moves on, we know that adviser firms are increasingly in charge of the technology stack that drives the Stuff they – you – offer clients. That comes with all kinds of benefits –  something the survey we’re asking for help with below examines in more detail. But it also comes with more things to think about. Some of those are to do with regulation and all that, but others have to do with ensuring that you stay operational in all necessary circumstances.

I’m not the only one thinking about this – the Competition and Markets Authority has had its say and is worried about FNZ’s takeover of GBST to the extent that it now wants the deal unwound: FNZ can buy back the bits of GBST it probably doesn’t want, but the rest has to go somewhere else. This is either interesting or not depending on your level of platform geekery, but if today teaches us anything it’s that if we’re worried about the proper operation of the interwebs, we have much more to worry about than the potential implications of back-end, propositional concentration.

I wonder how many firms know – or want to know, or need to know – the exposure they have in terms of their day-to-day operations to web infrastructure giants like AWS, or web optimisation shops like Cloudflare or Fastly, or even who the underlying tech is for their platform, let alone the component parts. As firms take more and more control (and quite rightly) this feels like something that has to become part of the day-to-day op risk world, especially for those firms who have high transaction volumes.

Adviser businesses aren’t so much about the act of giving regulated advice, it seems to me. They’re about client outcomes. We should call them client outcome businesses, apart from the fact that sounds like something some wet MBA graduate with a directional hairdo working for Accenture or whoever would say. But if we do think that way, then the resilience of how we put together Stuff for Clients starts to be a thing we need to worry about. Or not, and we take our chances.

YES SIR WE CAN LINKY

  • Can we have a word? It’s the last call to find out a bit more about platformy stuff. Takes no more than 10 minutes and you could win £250 for your pet charity.
  • Hey, maybe active management has a new trick. Maybe not…
  • LGIM has a new MPS service with much cheapness. VAT still included, but it’s only 1 basis point so who cares, eh? The [pricing] struggle is real; 30bps seems like the stuff of a madman’s dreams now…
  • No HomeGames this week, but next week we have the incomparable Fiona Tait of Intelligent Pensions on talking to Natalie. I had the privilege of working next to Fi for a while and I assure you you’ll want to tune in. Although she has no war stories about your faithful Updater, oh no, certainly not. Book your place here.
  • Nice new development from Seccl – no more waiting for funds to clear. Little thing but good.
  • Turns out quite a lot of people have quite a lot of money to save or invest. Feels like there is work to do in this space to get people investing…
  • And your music choice this week is a fabulous thing if you give it a chance. Please do invite Brazilian thrash metal legends Sepultura giving house room to famous bald Canadian Devin Townsend on a rework of Mask into your life. This is funnier than you think it’s going to be, and also crushes. Watch till the end.

See you next week

Mark