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Are IFAs on shelf in L&G supermart?

Legal & General is coming under pressure to clarify its plans to develop a fund supermarket, with fund managers claiming they have not been told of any IFA involvement.

Money Marketing revealed the life office&#39s plan to launch a fund supermarket in May when L&G said the platform would encompass both direct and IFA offerings.

But fund managers which have been in talks with L&G say there has never been any mention of developing an IFA platform while major IFA firms say they have not been brought in on discussions.

Fund managers and IFAs had expressed scepticism about the suitability of the platform for advisers after L&G announced that the fund supermarket would be based on a “best of breed” model.

The platform will only hold between 50 and 70 funds in total, comprising of around half a dozen from each of the main Autif fund sectors.

However, most IFAs say they want as much choice as possible in a fund supermarket, with many still unhappy that Fidelity and the four founder members of Cofunds continue to leave their funds off each others&#39 platforms.

The failure to include IFAs in discussions has fuelled speculation that the L&G supermarket will be offered only to its tied partners, Alliance & Leicester, Barclays, Northern Rock and the Woolwich.

L&G declines to comment on the details of its plans but confirms that it still intends to set up a direct platform which will be operating in October.

Jupiter joint managing director Steve Glynn says: “We were never given any indication that this would be a business-to-business proposition.”

Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier says: “They have not talked to us about an IFA supermarket, which is odd seeing as we are one of the biggest distributors in the country. Why do we need another supermarket anyway? There are so many now, it is ridiculous.”

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