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Platforms race to secure preferential terms after Standard Life move

Skandia, Cofunds, FundsNetwork and Axa Elevate are all negotiating preferential share classes with fund groups as Standard Life announces it has agreed terms with six fund groups.

Last week, Standard announced Henderson, Investec Asset Management, Neptune, Schroders (including Cazenove funds), Standard Life Investments and Threadneedle Investments had agreed discounted terms for advisers using the wrap.

Some of the fund groups have offered entirely new share cla-sses while others have given the platform access to their institutional share classes.

According to Standard, the average discount will stand at nine basis points although it declined to disclose specific discount levels.

Following the move, Skandia, Cofunds FundsNetwork and Elevate say they have also agreed or are in the process of agreeing preferential share classes, with Elevate claiming to have agreed deals with 10 fund managers.

Cofunds head of commercial Graham Venn says: “We have been in discussions with many of our fund group partners over recent months and expect to be able to access the best available priced funds for some or all of our clients.”

FundsNetwork head Pat Shea says: “We do not expect to see significant differences in fund pricing between the largest players. We are in discussions with our fund partners, and in some cases have already agreed preferential terms.”

Novia chief executive Bill Vasilieff says: “Standard’s announcement turned out to be nothing more than a damp squib. However, we expect to see much more activity in this area driven more by fund managers looking for distribution deals but also possibly by platforms as they evolve.”

Evolve Financial Planning director Jason Witcombe says: “The important thing is for advisers to look at the total cost of ownership. Different prices on platforms could give advisers a headache and could make re-registration tricky. However,
the more charges can be squeezed the better it will be for customers.”

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