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Ascentric boss: Replatforming costs show Royal London’s commitment to advisers

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Royal London’s investment to replatform Ascentric shows the provider is committed to the platform, chief executive Jon Taylor says.

Ascentric today announced changes to its pricing structure and Taylor says a common question from advisers involved in research about the fees was the platform’s position within Royal London given the “turmoil” in the market.

He says: “The question round Royal London does come up a lot because there is a lot of change in the marketplace and that is an easy conversation for them because the investment in the technology tells you a lot in terms of Royal London’s commitment to the platform and this is a strategic cornerstone for Royal London in terms of long-term savings.”

Ascentric’s replatforming to Bravura is reportedly costing £5.7m.

Under the new charging structure Ascentric will move to a single standard account charge from 1 May, seeing it scrap trading fees and additional charges.

Ascentric says its average client holds a portfolio worth £182,600, and places 44 trades a year through model portfolios.

It explains that under the existing charging structure, the annual charges for such a client would add up to £595.37, increasing to £715.37 if they hold a Sipp, and £895.37 if they have accessed drawdown.

Under the new charging structure, that client would have charges of £558.76 irrespective of wrappers held, or volume of trades instructed. These calculations assume 2% of the portfolio is held in cash.

Backing advisers

Taylor explains that the rationale behind the change was about being more transparent and making sure its pricing structure supported the way advisers work.

He adds: “Our strategy isn’t ‘let’s be all things to all men’. The strategy is really focusing on this typical adviser, with that kind of net wealth in the client and let’s introduce features in the platform so we can continue with the customers we have but also to be really attractive to the advisers in that space who probably use us already but they might be using us as a secondary platform or a tertiary platform.”

He says Ascentric’s strategy is to grow in its particular segment of the market.

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