Aegon rejects incentives for own-fund platform investment

Aegon has ruled out following Axa Elevate in offering incentives to invest in its own funds via the Aegon Retirement Choices platform.

Axa rewards clients who invest in Architas through the Elevate platform by waiving the platform fee but Aegon says it will not use the same approach with its asset management arm Kames Capital.

The Axa deal works by refunding the platform fee into the client’s cash account once they have been in an eligible Architas fund for at least 12 months.

Aegon UK group marketing director Paul McMahon says: “We are trying to make sure the funds recommended to clients are done so from an independent point of view and there is nothing going to be promoted to clients unless it is in the client’s fullest interest to do so.”

Axa Wealth UK distribution managing director David Thompson says the deal that Axa offers gives benefits to advisers and clients.

“With this offer, advisers benefit from an end-to-end investment process and they do not have to worry about additional capital gains tax complexities as this gets taken care of with the fund.

“From a client perspective, the offer keeps down the cost of investing and they have the flexibility to use the ’cashback’ as they wish.”

McMahon says he would support any further attempts by the platform industry to lobby the regulator to reverse its decision to ban cash rebates.

“I think we should be trying to impress upon the regulator the complexity of some of the alternatives to cash rebates. If we get rid of cash rebates, we would be taking a step backwards.”