Axa Wealth may resurrect plans to launch a corporate wrap after retaining its capabilities in this area following the Resolution/Friends Provident acquisition of Axa’s life arm.
As part of the £2.75bn deal Axa disposed of its corporate pensions, traditional life and pensions and IFA protection businesses. Under the terms of the acquisition, Axa’s corporate wrap team have been transferred to Friends.
Although both companies were in the process of developing a corporate wrap before the deal, it was agreed that Friends’ wrap would take precedence at the merged firm as it was more developed than Axa’s.
However, Axa chief executive Mike Kellard says Axa Wealth has retained the capability to offer a corporate wrap.
Kellard says Axa’s current corporate focus is on its corporate trustee investment plan, an investment platform for group pension trustees, which was also retained. The company says keeping the corporate trustee investment plan “fits in with the core strategy of its retained businesses to provide bespoke investment platform solutions.” It has also set up a dedicated corporate investment team which is now open for business. Axa Wealth is to consult on the CTIP’s development and is looking to invest further in its investment operations technology.
Kellard says: “Axa Wealth has retained capability to offer a corporate wrap, although that is not imminent, and at the moment our corporate investment services proposition will leverage our recognised capability in the employer/trustee area.”
Finance & Technology Research Centre managing director Ian McKenna says: “The corporate investment plan market is one where there are relatively few players that have managed to achieve the full benefits of technology. There is a significant opportunity for organisations that can remove costs.”