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Buckles in deal to offer Fofs via AIG

IFA firm Buckles has made its Snowdonia funds of funds available through AIG Life after finding that insurance companies with their own multi-manager products did not want to establish external fund links.

A 4m cash investment from the AIG deal has boosted total funds under management for the three Snowdonia funds to over 30m.

Buckles reports that demand has been high as investors look for alternatives to with-profits and like the transparency of funds of funds.

But the IFA admits it had to fight hard to find an onshore distribution partner to offer the Snowdonia growth, balanced and income funds to investors through unit-linked products.

Chief executive Nigel Spiers says discussions with the likes of Standard Life and Norwich Union ended in lots of closed doors. He attributes this to the groups’ reluctance to risk new money bypassing their own multi-manager offerings into rival funds.

In Spiers’s view, providing access only to their own multi-manager funds also means that insurance companies retain control, with no risk to their reputations.

Spiers says: “If we go back a year ago and compare our top five insurance providers with now, they have changed.

“We used to deal with the traditional insurers but we have AIG, Premier and Scottish Equitable. There is a growing realisation that what we consider niche players can pinch markets from the big boys.”

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