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Alliance Trust aims for IFA boost

Alliance Trust Savings is looking to boost the volume of business it takes from IFAs from 10 per cent of total sales to 50 per cent and plans to open up its i.nvest platform to advisers.

Sales and distribution director Patrick Mill, who joined the company in July, says while its Sipp business has been driven by intermediaries, over the last 25 years, Alliance Trust Savings has typically built up its client bank via the direct channel.

But he says part of the reason he joined Alliance Trust Savings is because of the significant role the company sees for IFAs in the future.

Mill says: “It is not a strategic change for us, as we still want to grow our direct business, but we are very focused on the intermediary market. At the moment, the business is roughly split with 90 per cent of sales coming from the direct channel and 10 per cent from the intermediary channel. We see that becoming a 50/50 split in three to five years.”

The i.nvest platform is currently run as an execution-only service, but Mill says the aim is that will change over time with adviser business coming through the platform. He says this will be achieved by developing the platform specifically for advisers, with the addition of foreign equities in the first quarter of this year.


Russian positives

I suspect the recent publicity and jailing for a further six years of former billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky reinforces many people’s attitude to Russia. Most investors will be old enough to remember the Cold War too, which does not help. There is little doubt that Russia has a poor image and this is probably why the […]

Altmann plans Saga charter to scrap default annuities

Saga director general Ros Altmann is calling for an end to default annuities as part of a wider charter for annuities that will push for increased uptake of the open market option. Speaking to Money Marketing, Altmann says: “We will be calling for an end to default annuities because the market clearly is not working. […]


Who will get CPMA top job?

The FSA is to be split into two bodies in 2012. The Prudential Regulation Authority will be led by current FSA chief executive Hector Sants but the top job at the Consumer Protection and Markets Authority is still up for grabs. With a decision expected in the next couple of weeks, Steve Tolley looks at some of the front-runners

M&G’s Leaviss warns that BoE could be on the brink of policy error

M&G head of retail fixed interest Jim Leaviss has warned that the Bank of England could make a policy error  by hiking interest rates in the near future. Leaviss believes we may be seeing a re-run of the 1993/94 economic scenario, when bonds rallied hard in 1993 before the Fed unexpectedly hiked rates in February […]

Mark Page: why my biggest overweight stock is a discount Spanish retailer

Artemis European Opportunities Fund manager Mark Page is questioned about the merits of investing in Spanish supermarket group, Dia. Dia is a 7,000-store Spanish discount supermarket chain. But with cheaper food prices coming on to the market and an improving Spanish economy, journalist Alexis Xydias questions Mark about its inclusion in the Artemis European Opportunities […]


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