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Advisers told not to rush into wrap

Clerical Medical is warning advisers against rushing into wrap by highlighting problems that Australian advisers are having with legacy books on failed platforms.

Managing director John Van Der Wielen says it is too early for advisers to know which wraps will be successful. He says Australia has four succ-essful wrap companies, two lesser used wraps and around six that have not survived.

He says: “You can put money on to wraps at any time but getting it off is more difficult. Many IFAs in Australia have legacy books with failed wraps and wish they had not put money on to them.”

Clerical Medical is in the middle of a £30m three-year revamp with the aim of increasing its market share among intermediaries.

Van Der Wielen, who joined from an HBOS-owned firm in Australia in December, says: “We know we have lost market share in the last five years but I think people forget that we have around £39bn of funds under management. We want to reinvent ourselves.”

Clerical Medical will increase its salesforce by 25 per cent and roll out some new products later this year.

Van Der Wielen will not reveal details of the new products but says the life office is aiming to become a top three player in its key markets of individual pensions, onshore and offshore bonds and direct investment products.

He says: “We have been working on product enhancements for the past 18 months. We have also been working on our customer service which has not been up to scratch in the past but we have turned that around.”

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