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Axa signs FNZ deal in Elevate assets push

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Axa Wealth has agreed a new deal with technology provider FNZ to recruit four teams of staff to develop the Elevate platform in its bid to achieve £45bn in assets under management by 2015.

FNZ has powered the Elevate platform since its launch in November 2008.

The new teams are based at Axa’s existing sites in Bristol and Basingstoke, and FNZ’S development centre in the Czech Republic.

Axa says it cannot disclose the total number of new staff hired due to confidentiality agreements, but says the new teams represent a “significant increase” to staff resources.

The teams will each be responsible for future platform strategy, implementing new developments, maintenance of the Elevate platform, and making the platform easier to use.

The strategy team will be in place for 18 months.

A new-look Elevate platform will launch in Q4 this year. Axa is also pressing ahead with its plans to develop a direct to consumer platform that IFAs can white-label to offer to their clients. The white-labelled platform, Axa Self Investor, is being piloted with IFAs and is expected to launch in June this year.

Axa spent a total of £18m last year in developing the platform, with further costs expected this year.

Axa Wealth chief executive Mike Kellard (pictured) says: “The race is on now. We are investing for the long-term future so that we can be the leader in the platform market in the UK.”

FNZ chief executive Adrian Durham says: “FNZ is very proud of the work we have carried out with Axa Wealth to date. This latest phase of delivery will see us continue Elevate’s development and focus on simplicity, ease of use and rich, intuitive functionality.”

Axa added £1.3bn in assets to Elevate last year, taking total platform assets under administration to £3.5bn. Total assets under management at Axa Wealth grew 5.6 per cent over 2011 from £17.9bn to £18.9bn.

Money Marketing revealed earlier this month that private equity firm General Atlantic has taken joint control of FNZ, alongside HIG Capital and FNZ senior management.

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