Prudential has denied a proposed direct-to-consumer PruFunds proposition would damage the relationships it has with advisers.
M&G Prudential chief executive John Foley says offering the PruFund range direct to customers would open up new channels for the business.
Pru said it would be establishing a direct-to-consumer platform as part of the £250m investment into customer service it announced at its full-year results today.
Foley says the group already had very strong channels with intermediaries so has been developing its direct-to-customer relationships.
He adds offering PruFunds on a D2C basis would open up channels to the business and that the firm “will hopefully have more to say about that later in the year”.
Foley says: “We have excellent sales through the intermediary channels and throughout PFP but once we’ve digitised our offering to customers we would expect to see greater inflows through that channel.”
Prudential has since reassured that any direct offering would not be to the detriment of its adviser relationships.
The PruFunds announcement comes on the day the firm revealed it would be demerging UK and Europe business M&G Prudential and Prudential to two separate stock market listings and selling off £12bn of its annuity portfolio.
Foley says pension freedoms were a great opportunity for the business to deliver the right outcomes for people into their retirement, adding customers “will start to see a difference in the service they get over the next 12 to 18 months” as it invests in its digital capabilities.
The PruFund range has seen assets under management soar by 46 per cent to a hefty £36bn in 2017, with profit from new business up 28 per cent to £342 million. Overall assets under management for M&G Prudential grew 13 per cent to £351bn.