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Axa sticking with its variable range

Axa Wealth UK chief executive Mike Kellard says the wealth management firm has considered entering the fixed-term annuities market but has no plans to launch a product.

The market for fixed-term pension products is expected to grow substantially this year after Just Retirement and Aviva confirmed they will compete with LV= and Living Time, whose product is now distributed by MetLife.

Kellard says Axa Wealth will focus on its variable annuity products, called the Secure Advantage range, rather than entering new markets.

He says: “We do not curr- ently offer a fixed-term product and we have not got any immediate plans to enter the market. We have looked at fixed-term annuities but we have launched the Secure Advantage range and we want to see where that goes first.”

Speaking after Axa Wealth reported a 41 per cent growth in sales last year, Kellard admitted that splitting the wealth management business from the life business acquired by Resolution had been a “pain- ful experience”.

He says: “Last year, we had a massive distraction with the Resolution deal. It was a painful experience to go through and we still have some work to do finalising that.

“The Axa Life business had people who worked on both parts of the businesses, so it was not something that could be broken up easily.”

Annuity Direct chief executive Bob Bullivant says: “Fixed-term annuities are a price-sensitive market and Axa Wealth may not think it can compete on price.”

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