Bradford & Bingley is to become the main distributor of Standard Life's Sigma fund range under a new agreement which the life office hopes will help it win a bigger slice of the mutual fund market.
B&B's advisers will buy through Sigma any funds on its recommended panel which also appear on Standard's platform, currently affecting 17 funds. The deal is based on Standard adding more overlapping funds over time, allowing B&B to benefit from Standard's formidable buying power.
B&B advisers buying Isas through Sigma will be able to select funds for their clients from a host of different providers instead of a single fund manager.
They will have the choice of 75 funds, 57 of which are run by 12 external managers and the remainder from Standard Life Investments. They were chosen on the basis of their ratings from agencies such as Forsyth-OBSR and on their popularity with advisers and clients.
B&B says the deal will have no impact on its current agreements with multi-managers and stresses that it will not be promoting Standard's platform externally. But it says the commercial terms Standard can secure makes it an attractive proposition which should grow once the life office strikes further agreements.
B&B group financial services director Roderic Rennison says: “It is an efficient means of buying funds in terms of admin and terms, based on the premise that Standard will add more funds over time.”
Standard managing director (sales) Nathan Parnaby says: “By working tog-ether, we deliver tangible benefits to both companies and provide access to some of the UK's most highly regarded fund managers.”