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Standard bond platform to offer 30 external funds

Standard Life is introducing a single-premium bond platform with up to 30 external funds available from across its Sigma range and its SLI/Wilshire Associates manager of manager offering.

The company is also understood to be talking to technology partners about options for upgrading its online offering into a fully blown wrap proposition.

The single-premium bond platform will offer a level option with no exit penalties and a stepped option with exit penalties although details on charging and commission structures have not yet been released.

The platform, which rolls out the Sigma proposition to the single-premium bond market, will be integrated with Standard&#39s portfolio planning tool.

The proposition will be launched on or around August 23 and will offer three SLI/Wilshire manager of manager investment choices across caut- ious, balanced and UK equity options.

Last week, Standard&#39s interim results showed a 13 per cent drop in new UK life and pension business in the first half of 2004, covering the period when it announced it planned to demutualise.

Standard Life spokesman Allan MacLean says: “We have a number of new products in development at the moment but we cannot give any more details at this stage. Our online offering already has features that are comparable with most wraps but we are seeking to upgrade those features.”

Central Financial Planning Group director Ian Smith says: “IFAs are looking to do more portfolio-based work and clean contracts are good for this. Standard will start targeting Skandia&#39s business with this product.

“As for Wilshire Associates, they are supposed to be big and clever in the US but until they can show a few quarters of good performance, we do not know what they are bringing to the table.”

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