Royal & Sun Alliance
Trustee Investment Plan
Type: Trustee investment plan.
Minimum premium: Lump sum £10,000.
Investment choice: Cash deposit, fixed interest, index-linked, pension protector, balanced growth, managed growth, unitised with-profits, equity, FTSE allshare tracker, property, UK leader and eurotech.
Charges: Annual up to 1 per cent.
Allocation rate: 100 per cent.
Options: Penalty free withdrawals up to 5 per cent a year.
Commission: Up to 0.7 per cent.
Stephen Cave – Pension business manager, Advisory & Brokerage Services
Steve Perdisatt – Research manager, Burns Anderson
Jeremy Parrott – Managing director, Birnbeck Finance
Terry Stevens – Proprietor, Centre Financial Services
Investment options: 6.0
Company's reputation: 4.5
Past performance: 6.5
Product literature: 5.8
Royal & SunAlliance has unveiled the trustee investment plan, with a wide range of investment options.
Looking at how the plan fits into the market Stevens says: “It's not a huge market, but one that should grow over time as awareness increases.”
Parrott feels it fits in very well and that Royal & SunAlliance has undertaken enough background work to make the product appealing.
Perdisatt says: “It would fit in okay, although it has to be said the market place for trustee investment plans is already quite crowded.”
Moving on to the type of client the plan may be suitable for Cave says: “Trustees of small self-administered schemes and self-invested personal pensions.” Perdisatt and Parrott are in agreement.
Stevens says: “The more sophisticated corporate pension investor and self-invested personal pension client should look carefully at this type of product.”
Considering the type of marketing opportunities the plan will provide Perdisatt says: “It strikes me as being a plain no frills type of arrangement. Royal & SunAlliance would therefore need to capitalise on other strengths, eg, overall fund performance.”
Stevens does not feel the plan would provide any marketing opportunities for the small IFA, but those in the group stakeholder market would find it useful for director clients.
Parrott thinks the product will provide quite reasonable marketing opportunities. He says: “There is ongoing demand from trustees for suitable investment products. I would be happy to introduce the plan when discussing options with trustees.”
Cave feels it will present opportunities for the investment of cash currently held on deposit.
Analysing the main useful features and strong points of the plan Stevens says: “Any pension provider will offer a range of funds, so the advantages must lie in the flexibility.”
Perdisatt lists the fact that it is easy to understand, there are no initial charges and no surrender penalties other than the market value adjustment on with-profits.
Cave remarks upon the “flexibility to switch between funds”, while Parrott likes the simplicity, the range of funds and the transparent and attractive charging structure.
Casting an eye over the range of investment options Perdisatt says: “The range is fairly limited, but includes a reasonable spread of risk-based investment alternatives.”
Cave calls the range average, while Parrott says: “Generally good. They major on UK investments and cover most of the main areas. It could be argued that other markets should be included but these are widely available elsewhere. Royal & SunAlliance have built up a good reputation in recent years for their fund management.”
Stevens feels that the inclusion of a eurotech fund with no euro equity fund is strange.