SJP spends £121m on replatforming as a quarter of assets complete transfer

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St James’s Place has spent £121.1m on its replatforming project to IFDS Bluedoor so far with pension and bond business yet to be transferred and a retirement account still to be developed.

According to SJP’s 2016 annual report, the balance of an “operational readiness prepayment” to IFDS reached £121.1m in 2016.

The prepayment relates to costs charged by IFDS to deliver the new platform. Those costs are to be allocated over the course of the replatforming.

In 2015 the prepayment stood at £76.5m.

One market source says the SJP platform project is behind schedule and that costs are expected to more than double from where they are currently.

However, a SJP spokesman says: “For the avoidance of doubt, the cumulative amount expended on operational readiness that was carried as a prepayment as at 31 December 2016 was £121.1m as reported in our latest accounts.”

The 2016 report details that unit trust and Isa business had transferred to Bluedoor but pensions and bond business had not been migrated. SJP is also planning to develop a retirement account.

Asked for an update on when those assets will transfer, the spokesman says: “By 31 December 2016, over a quarter of assets under management were on the Bluedoor platform and, currently, approximately two thirds of all new investments are being processed on it.”

He adds: “We expect this progress to continue in the same controlled and phased manner as we have achieved since the migration started, and are already experiencing contractually agreed reduced tariffs.”

Old Mutual also released an update on its replatforming costs last week, confirming it has spent £279m on replatforming since 2013. The business spent £102m in 2016.

The business review reads: “Whilst progress continues to be made, this remains a complex project, and there are certain pressures which, potentially, could increase timescales and costs. We are in active negotiations on these areas to reduce delivery and cost risk and to ensure we achieve the best outcome for the business.

“Our UK Platform IT transformation is a significant cost focus, with enhanced independent oversight and governance enabling us greater assurance over the remainder of the programme.

“A robust platform that meets customer needs is vital for our future and we continue to invest in the existing platform to maintain high levels of service and resilience.”