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Axe and Aegon see big boost to offshore sales

Wider investment choice and tax planning opportunities are being cited for rising offshore sales in the first half of 2007.

Sales of Axa’s offshore bond more than doubled to £116m compared with £53m in the first half of 2006 on an annual premium equivalent basis.

Aegon Scottish Equitable International saw a 52 per cent rise in sales £53.6m from £33.7m on an APE basis.

Axa executive director Paul Evans says: “We have seen huge growth in offshore bond sales. Advisers are turning to offshore as a better solution for clients.”

Aegon head of sales for investment products Helen McEwan says investors are attracted to the wide investment choice and tax planning opportunities offered by offshore wrappers.

She says: “Aegon SEI’s wealth management plan has been particularly successful due to our unique approach to prefunding fund-based commission on the preferential range and the fact that the plan offers a simple and flexible menu-based charging structure.”

But Prudential’s offshore sales fell by 36 per cent from £36m to £23m. Spokeswoman Carole Butcher says offshore sales are not a key focus for Pru.

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