Before selecting Ascentric, I scoured the market to see what was around but I was really waiting for clarity from the FSA as to its position on wraps.
At the end of last year, the regulator no longer appeared to consider the use of an investment wrap as a compromise to one’s independence.
I prefer the independent platforms rather than those offerings owned by life companies. The likes of Norwich Union and Standard Life should be focusing their efforts on paying out returns to policyholders and shareholders rather than putting money into building wraps in a bid to gain an extra distribution channel.
I like the idea of an IFA and ultimately therefore a client-centred wrap as opposed to one being the fait accompli of the product providers.
I was also impressed with Ascentric’s management, which is more academic rather than a salesperson-based team, which I think is vital.
You get access to fund performance information rather than having to trawl through the pinks to get your data, which can be a tricky business and is less immediate.
Clients whose assets are on the wrap are fully in favour of it and I tend to explain it with a simple analogy – when you go to the supermarket, you are still buying Heinz beans, HP sauce or Danepak bacon but the means by which you carry them all is the Sainsbury’s basket. They seem to get it.
My clients have access to go online directly. I can specify access only – meaning it is win-win for everybody.
One wrote to me recently to thank me for helping them log on to Ascentric, saying they have had a chance to explore the site and can really see the potential benefit there will be in enabling them to follow their investments and see how I am managing their funds.
My clients and I like the clarity, the ease of use and speed with which I can run my business and provide them with better financial solutions.
Filip Slipaczek, BA (Hons), FCIB, ACII, APFS, is a chartered financial planner.