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Margin sees some fund firms shun Standard fund platform

Standard Life&#39s mutual fund platform, which is due to launch next year, will not feature funds from major groups such as New Star, Threadneedle and JP Morgan Fleming.

The platform will offer links to a number of Standard Life Investments&#39 funds and around 60 from external groups, including Schroders, Jupiter, Liontrust and Invesco Perpetual. A separate pension platform includes 13 external groups and offers 70 funds.

Standard says the panel reflects its selection criteria for groups, which included popularity with IFAs, financial strength and performance. It says no other factors were taken into account.

But some groups have privately revealed that they pulled out of talks about securing a spot on the panel after being told that they were expected to run money for 30 basis points, a level which they say is unacceptably low.

Standard expects other firms to join the panel over time, although it stresses that it does not want to compete with the fund supermarkets. It has yet to announce which funds will be on the panel but it is expected that the 11 groups&#39 most popular products will be selected.

All will be offered through an assortment of wrappers.

PR manager Jeff Newton says: “It was not our intention to create a mutual fund supermarket. We wanted a limited choice of quality funds. There was a selection process but it had nothing at all to do with fees.”

One fund manager says: “Once we heard 30 basis points, we walked away. We felt we would be cross-subsidising someone else to enter. The question is, is this platform for the benefit of clients or for the benefit of Standard Life?”

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