Colonial First State Investments is to ditch the 100-year-old Colonial
name from its UK brand in the first step of a multi-million-pound relaunch
into the IFA market.
The fund manager, which will rebrand as First State Investments, is also
looking at the possibility of launching an online IFA platform based on
technology from Australia.
First State Investments chief executive Rob Adams criticises the UK fund
management industry for not catering sufficiently for the IFA market.
Adams says First State will look to build its brand based on the needs of
the IFA. It will introduce new technology to cater for the intermediary and
provide greater client support.
Backed by capital from its parent, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Adams
says First State is looking to become a top 10 player in the UK IFA market
within five years.
He predicts that the firm will be a strong rival to the likes of New Star
Asset Management as one of the fastest-growing investment brands in the UK.
As part of its restructure, First State will undertake a rationalisation
of its fund range, merging several funds and disbanding the Stewart Ivory
brand from all but its wealth management service.
Commenting on the change of brand, Adams says: “The Colonial brand is not
suited to this marketplace. Colonial conjures up thoughts of something 200
years ago and not the here and now.”