Axa Wealth has launched a non-advised platform for clients who cannot afford advice post-RDR which will pay advisers commission for introducing clients to the service.
The company says its Axa Self Investor service will work alongside advisers’ existing models, for clients who want to manage a proportion of their investments themselves or cannot or do not want to pay for advice from next year.
Clients using Axa Self Investor will be able to access to around 170 funds through a stocks and shares Isa and trading account. They will also be able to invest in one of Architas’ six low-cost, multi-asset passive funds.
Commission will be paid either as a percentage of the funds under management in the stocks and shares Isa, paid monthly on a recurring basis, or as an amount based on the number of new clients who invest. Axa says the level of commission paid will be agreed between Axa and the adviser. It also says these payments will be able to continue under the FSA’s ban on fund manager and cash rebates, due to come in on 31 December, 2013.
The minimum investment is £200 a month, or a £2,000 lump sum. Clients using smart+ will be charged a flat fee of £4 a month, plus a wrapper charge of 0.5 per cent a year collected monthly from the client’s accounts.
There are no initial charges on funds, and no switching or dealing costs. Axa Self Investor will rebate clients up to 50 per cent of the annual management charge.
The service is built on the Elevate platform and will be co-branded with the adviser’s website. It can also be used to help the adviser with marketing support, managing email campaigns and product literature.
Axa Wealth chief executive Mike Kellard (pictured) says: “Axa Self Investor is a simple and easy-to-use investment service that we are confident advisers and their clients will value.
“This type of offering will be essential to firms who look to get maximum value from their client relationships, especially post-RDR, and will help to address the advice gap we believe the RDR legislation will create.”
Axa Wealth Direct announced last month it had appointed Ian Smith as head of distribution to develop the strategy for Axa Self Investor.
Axa Portfolio Services, the firm responsible for the Axa Elevate platform, saw pre-tax losses increase 29 per cent to £33.5m in 2011, compared to a £26m loss in 2010. The company attributed the loss in part to the development of Axa Self Investor.
Premier Wealth Management managing director Adrian Shandley says: “Once the Self Investor service takes off Axa will just ditch advisers. There is nothing to say it will not be writing to Elevate clients to approach them about the option to self-invest.”