Rival platforms are demanding access to any new lower-cost share classes launched by fund managers and predict it will not be possible for Skandia or Standard Life to receive preferential terms.
Standard Life says it will move to a clean share class model next April and will ask fund groups to offer preferential share classes that reflect the discounts investors were receiving through unit rebates. Skandia will continue to offer unit rebates through clean share classes but will also be pressuring fund groups to offer preferential share classes in the future.
Fidelity FundsNetwork and Cofunds say they expect access to the lowest fund prices in the market.
Fidelity head of business development Ed Dymott says: “If fund managers launch new share classes at a lower price, we will look to ensure our customers get access to these. However, there does seem to be a confused position around this view that some of the platforms in the market feel that they can get preferential terms.
“We believe there should be no meaningful difference in the prices we are offered against our nearest competitors. This seems to run counter to the idea of these terms being preferential.”
A Cofunds spokesman says: “Cofunds is confident it will always access the best price for clean funds.”
Transact adds it expects access to the lower share classes and says it would be unfair that advisers receive different access to funds depending on the platform they use.
Chief executive Ian Taylor says: “I do not see how or why advisers should be given different pricing depending on what platform they use. I would expect access to all share classes. Especially because any fund prices offered to platforms will be public knowledge.”
Axa Elevate, Novia, AJ Bell, Aegon, Nucleus and Ascentric all say they will demand access to the lowest clean share classes available.
Elevate Managing director David Thompson says: “As and when fund managers make new enhanced clean share classes available we would expect to provide access to these through Elevate to ensure we continue to provide clients with the best possible value in the most simple and transparent way possible.”
Ascentric managing director Hugo Thorman says: “I do not think there is sufficient benefit just to offer platforms a special share class just because of a platform’s size and it does not provide any benefit to the fund manager.”
Money Marketing reported last week Kames Capital would not launch preferential share classes for individual platforms while other fund groups are considering their options.