Dunstan Thomas acquires investment platform as it expands into wealth management

Fintech firm Dunstan Thomas has acquired investment platform consultancy Platform Action, as the company sets its sights on expanding deeper into the wealth management and investment platform markets.

Dunstan Thomas has partnered with Platform Action on a range of major IT projects over the last 10 years – working collaboratively with them to support platform clients including Aegon, Just, StanLib, Novia, Fusion Wealth, and Liberty Group.

Chris Read, group chief executive at Dunstan Thomas, explains: “Platform Action brings a terrific combination of top flight strategic IT expertise as well as broad delivery capability and very deep platform domain expertise. You name the platform; they’ve worked with them on a huge range of technology delivery and consulting projects.

“By working more closely together we can be more ambitious about bidding for larger IT projects which don’t necessarily involve implementing our Imago or Integro CX product suites. Put simply, it gives us a wider canvas on which to paint, while enabling faster penetration into the wealth management market at home and abroad.”

Platform Action has built up expertise in providing an omni-channel customer experience. One of the key challenges for established platforms is making sure that the front-end customer journey is seamless across and between all communication channels. When a piece of online functionality is not working, this leads to a rapid and sometimes unmanageable increase in calls into the contact centre.

Richard Budnyj, managing director of Platform Action, says: “The Covid-19 pandemic has focused platforms’ on virtualising contact centres so that contact centre staff can continue operating, albeit at slightly lower level per agent, from a home setting. This in turn has led to a deeper focus on minimising call volumes by properly analysing and fixing the key online issues which are generating the bulk of adviser and client calls. 

“Ideally, platforms want to get to the point that customers are only putting in a call to verify that they’ve followed the right procedures online and that it’s triggered the right action inside the provider. For example, we’ve built tools that help gather user feedback and analyse online functionality glitches accurately to ensure that IT resources are devoted proportionate with the reduction in call volumes that these fixes deliver. It’s vital work for platforms right now.”

Budnyj adds: “It’s great to be joining an enlarged group with so much expertise in the pensions as well as the platform world. We already have several mutual clients. In addition, the cultural fit is perfect for our team and we already know that our technical and leadership teams work well together.”