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Aussie Challenger to buy IFAs if polarisation goes

Challenger, the Australian owner of UK Tep market-maker Neville James, is

to snap up IFAs if polarisation rules are relaxed.

It would buy IFA firms and networks and has not ruled out multi-tying. The

company has been following an acquisition strategy, buying Neville James

for £6m in April. It owns a national advisory business with 50 offices

in the Australian market and hopes to replicate its structure in the UK.

It is targeting UK IFAs to distribute its funds and market-test its

products. In Australia, it offers financial advisers a loyalty programme,

including a share-option scheme and is developing incentives in the UK.

Challenger hopes to get FSA approval of its offshore zeros fund in

October. It is awaiting approval to launch its life company focusing on

annuities. It aims to have 5 per cent of the UK annuity market in five

years and to increase funds under management from £300m to £11bn

in three years.

Executive director Brett Newman says: “We are targeting the UK market

because of synergies with Australia which has a mature IFA sector.”

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