Abbey director of intermediaries Ambrose McGinn has hit out at suggestions that its wrap platform is struggling, claiming that its rivals do not have the experience and res-ources to make their propositions succeed.
Dismissing the firm's competitors as “pretenders”, McGinn says only Abbey has pockets deep enough – and the requisite critical mass – to lead the development of the aggregation marketplace.
McGinn says its rivals are “just small businesses” lacking the experience and backing to make a decent fist of attracting substantial assets under management.
He went on the offensive after Money Marketing revealed last week that Abbey had appointed group marketing director Janet Connor to take charge of the wrap.
Connor effectively replaces marketing director of wealth management and banking Hugo Thorman and head of wrap Steve Conley, who are both set to be handed more group responsibilities.
McGinn, who denies the widely held suspicion that the wrap is under review, says Connor's appointment is nothing more than the group seeking clear accountability and a focal point for the operation.
However, he admits Abbey is currently taking forward a “project” aimed at ensuring that the wrap reaches its goal to become the leading platform in the market.
He says: “Inevitably, people are going to knock you. The others are just pretenders. They do not have the experience, resources or critical mass to make it happen. I am looking forward to confounding the critics. No one else is doing this on an industrial scale.”
Skandia investment marketing manager Ian Thomas says: “We have all the tools but Abbey is still missing a lot of stuff like bonds. Around 18.000 IFAs are signed up to our extranet service, including our wrap. We are not a small-scale player.”