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Merrill and AMP stakeholder deal

Merrill Lynch Investment Managers is joining forces with NPI parent AMP to

offer its clients stakeholder pensions.

AMP is allowing MLIM, formerly Mercury Asset Management, to use Alis, its

pension admin system.

The Merrill Lynch stakeholder is unlikely to be offered through IFAs as

the company is saying this market is not of any importance to it.

But NPI says the partnership is good news for IFAs, claiming the increased

volumes of stakeholder business transacted through Alis will bring down

fixed costs.

It says these lower costs will be reflected in the pricing of NPI&#39s own

stakeholder.

The company is planning to launch its stakeholder offering by the autumn

and says it remains committed to the IFA channel.

NPI says the Merrill Lynch proposition is aimed at Merrill&#39s existing

client base, primarily consisting of FTSE-listed companies, and will not

affect the core stakeholder audience for IFAs.

AMP says it is seeking new partnerships with other inv-estment players to

offer out-sourced third-party stakeholder admin.

MLIM head of institutional clients division Charles Farquharson says: “The

package we have put together is unlike any other. It blends our expertise

in institutional and retail customer service with the group&#39s global

research and investment capabilities.”

NPI head of corporate communications Paul Green says: “IFAs should take

comfort from this that a company the size of Merrill looked all over the

world for a suitable partner and decided on AMP.

“It is not a question of AMP choosing one distribution over another. A

player its size is large enough to play stakeholder in a number of diff-

erent ways.”

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