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Exchange takes big wrap step with Fundsdirect partnership

The Exchange has taken a major step forward in its bid to challenge wrap providers Skandia, Abbey and Norwich Union by signing a partnership deal with supermarket platform Fundsdirect.

In a move first revealed in Money Marketing last October, The Exchange has entered into a strategic alliance with Fundsdirect which both claim will deliver the first full open architecture wrap platform for intermediaries. The wrap, due to launch in Q2, will be formed through the integration of The Exchange&#39s Exweb portal – which has about18,500 users – and Fundsdirect&#39s platform.

The companies say the wrap will allow intermediaries to manage, transact and value traditional life and pension pol-icies as well as unit trusts, Oeics and direct equities. In particular, they say its features – which include a single commission statement – will remove much of the admin burden on IFAs, who will be able to choose between 1,500 funds from 80 investment companies.

These investments can be held inside and outside mult-iple tax wrappers, including Sipps, personal pensions, Isas and Peps. By adding them to its existing range of services, The Exchange says it is boosting the infrastructure it has in place for transactions and valuations of products within Exweb Gold, the next generation of Exweb.

Exchange head of wrap Jay Swanston says: “Fundsdirect is a natural partner for us as it shares our vision of taking the best practices from the US and Australia and combining them with Exweb to create a solution for the UK. This is the first offering of its kind that really meets the needs of its advisers.”

Fundsdirect chief exec-utive Sean Ewing says: “IFAs will now be able to make a seamless migration to a new retained adviser model built on asset under management, generating significant recurring income.”

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