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Axa corporate wrap would challenge Friends and Bluefin

Axa Wealth may end up competing with both Friends Provident and Axa-owned IFA firm Bluefin if it pursues the development of its own corporate wrap plans.

Money Marketing revealed last week that Axa Wealth has retained the capability to offer a corporate wrap following the £2.75bn Resolution/Friends Provident acquisition of Axa’s life arm.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Axa’s corporate wrap team have been transferred to Friends.

If Axa Wealth resurrects its plans to develop a corporate wrap, it would be in direct competition with Friends’ wrap, which is being developed.

Friends says it continues to actively push forward its corporate wrap plans and is looking to launch the initial version later this year.

Friends UK corporate director James Ward says: “We expect these efforts to be reinforced by the skills, capability and experience of the Axa staff who will be joining us shortly. We are confident that our offering will be leading the market and we are happy to take on any competitors in this space.”

A corporate wrap offering from Axa Wealth would also go up against Bluefin, the IFA firm owned by Axa, as Bluefin already has an established employee benefits division.

Threesixty commercial director Phil Young says: “As Bluefin’s employee benefits consultancy owns a flexible benefits platform in Orbit, it will be interesting to see whether Axa’s corporate wrap works alongside this or in a different market psector altogether.”

Bluefin Corporate Consulting head of technical, marketing and research Robin Hames says: “While we obviously take an active interest in all developments in the wrap market, Axa’s plans do not have any bearing on Bluefin’s day-to-day operations. As a provider of independent advice and benefits consultancy, we are not tied to any single platform and take decisions purely in the best interests of our clients.”


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