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Fee trend to close gap between platforms and wraps

The services offered by fund supermarkets and wraps will converge over the next three years as more advisers move to fees, predicts Cofunds chief executive Charlie Eppinger.

At a FundsNetwork/Cofunds forum in London last week, Eppinger said the gap is already narrowing as fund supermarkets branch out into pensions and investment bonds.

He expects the trend to accelerate as increasing numbers of advisers move from commission to fees.

Eppinger said: “The industry will get away from up-front commission and the difference between wraps and platforms will disappear. Three years from now, the systems, technology, fee structures and who they service will be the same.”

Transact sales and marketing director Malcolm Murray says: “There will be a convergence of the products offered by platforms but I think there will be a divergence in terms of how they are paid for. At Transact, the client pays for everything. I would imagine the likes of Cofunds and FundsNetwork will evolve into a wrap but I think they will keep the route where the fund manager pays the IFA.”

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