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Hay accuses life companies of neglecting wrap development

James Hay has sparked a wrap wrangle by accusing life offices of having little commitment to the wrap market and only launching their platforms to recycle existing business.

It singles out a recent entrant to wrap for pulling “resources away from its platform to support their stand-alone fund supermarket offering.”

Industry commentators believes this refers to Standard Life, which has delayed its full wrap until next year while launching its second fund supermarket, FundZone.

James Hay director Shaun Sandiford says: “I have always felt the approach of many wrap operators has had little regard for sustainability but it has rather been a vehicle for many of them to recycle their own existing books of business.”

He says a provider pulling resource away from its wrap so soon after launch will cause many IFAs to doubt the logic of using it.

But Standard insists wrap is to be a key part of its strategy, with its efforts focused jointly on developing the wrap and FundZone. Spokesman Peter Timberlake says: “I do not think that you can draw the conclusion this is Standard Life. We are recruiting people into sales to grow the number of IFAs using the wrap throughout 2007 and beyond.”

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