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Aegon looks at platform move

Aegon has hired former UBS Wealth Management executive director Tim O’Connor to sound out a potential launch into the wrap market.

It is one of the few major life offices not yet to have launched a platform. Prudential recently ruled out a wrap launch.

O’Connor was responsible for UBS Wealth Management’s platform as executive director and UK head of external asset management. UBS announced it was shutting its IFA wrap last November.

Aegon spokesman Mark Locke says: “Tim has a significant amount of expertise in the wrap market. He has an open-ended contract with us to look at the requirements and the capabilities that would be needed for us to move into that area.”

Prudential ruled out launching its own platform last month, predicting that the regulator may in future frown on IFAs who use single-provider platforms.

FTRC director Ian McKenna says: “All the major life and pension players have got plans in the wrap market, other than Aegon and Prudential. The firm already has a Sipp so it seems only a matter of time until it pushes this effective pension platform to carry other assets. It would not be difficult.”

Locke says it is too early to say if any wrap plans will be devised with Aegon’s distribution arms Origen and Positive Solutions.

Threesixty partner Phil Young says: “I am not surprised Aegon is taking a much more serious look at this market now. Providers left without their own wrap are exposed to losing market share and losing significant numbers of assets.

“A greater degree of urgency would have been provoked by Capita’s decision to scale back its Enabler proposition, which Aegon was fairly heavily involved in. If Aegon is looking for a quick route to market, it could buy an existing provider but the cost of building a bespoke propo- sition has come down.”

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