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American Express aims to wrap up IFA market

American Express is planning to enter the UK IFA market with an extensive business solution proposition which could involve the US giant taking stakes in advisory firms in return for help with PI cover.

It would initially involve a wrap platform offering Peps, Isas, individual equities, bonds and offshore products but could evolve to include deals which help IFAs overcome mounting regulatory and insurance difficulties. It is believed that such agreements would involve Amex pledging to buy firms outright when the owner sells up or retires.

The company is seeking backing for the platform through presentations to fund firms. It is unclear whether Threadneedle, the company acquired by Amex in June as part of its plans to expand distribution, will be involved.

Amex&#39s decision comes as part of a wider industry shift to wrap accounts, with firms such as Skandia, Seven Investment Management, Hargreaves Lansdown and TransAct already offering them. In September, Abbey National will become the first major bank to enter the market through its IFA arm. The involvement of financial giant Amex will increase wraps&#39 threat to fund supermarkets.

Alan Steel Asset Management consultant Alan Adam says: “It is a growth area because it allows firms to retain or grow their assets under management. Amex is also making acquisitions and it makes sense to involve IFAs.”


FSA offers keynote view on credit risk

How lenders manage credit risk along with how investors and rating agencies reward good credit risk management are topics up for discussion at the credit risk management workshop being held at the Landmark Hotel in London next month Organised by the CML/GEMI for September 18, the keynote speech will be given by FSA deposit takers&#39 […]

Intermediaries are going

Intermediaries are going to the end of the Earth this week and on top of the world, well almost, was Millfield IFA George Petry (pictured above), flying the corporate flag. George ascended the 18,005ft to Everest base camp and raised over £1,000 for the Sir Edmund Hillary Himalayan Trust and the Tom Hughes School for […]

Rationale thinking

I wrote in these pages last month about the need for the financial adviser sector to take ownership of its reputation by a determined effort to improve its practice and performance. Obviously, to take this forward, there would need to be organisation. The big question is whether any of the existing representational or educational bodies […]

SEI adds bond to corporate range

Scottish Equitable International is targeting IFAs advising the corporate market with the capital redemption bond. The bond is the latest in a series of Dublin-based products from ScotEq International since August 2002. SEI says the bond structure makes it popular with corporate investors because, with no lives assured, there is no compulsion to take benefits […]

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Considerations for overseas workers in Germany

With Germany’s strong economic growth leading the eurozone’s recovery, many UK businesses are keen to be part of the success story: recent data shows that there are currently more than 280,000* employees working for a UK-controlled company in the country.


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