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Standard Life aiming to add wrap resources

Standard Life is planning to increase staff resources on its wrap as more advisers turn to platforms for retirement planning.

The company says advisers are increasingly turning to wraps to help plan the best possible outcome for their clients’ retirement, given that pension pots have been depleted by falls in equity prices.

It has doubled the number of adviser firms on its wrap from 200 to 409 and total funds are upby 64 per cent from £1.1bn in 2007 to £1.8bn in 2008.

Standard says that staff whose jobs are cut in the company’s strategic review of distribution could be redeployed to bolster its wrap resources.

A spokeswoman says: “Wrap allows advisers to look bey- ond the pension fund itself, to the Isa, the property and the legacy policies, and take a view on the whole portfolio.”

Standard Life has posted a 6 per cent rise in profits across the group from £881m in 2007 to £933m in 2008 on a European embedded value basis.

UK profits are up by 8 per cent from £606m to £657m, but, on an IFRS basis, UK life and pension profit dropped by 53 per cent to £184m from £395m in 2007.

New business profitability for individual pensions, Sipps and increments on existing policies, fell by 54 per cent to £56m from £123m last year. New business for group pensions dropped by 3 per cent from £60m in 2007 to £55m in 2008 while for annuity business increased by 15 per cent over the same period from £54m to £74m.

Rival insurer Aegon posted a £167m loss for the fourth quarter across the international group as it set aside £922m of extra capital. But, Aegon’s UK life and pension division saw record new business figures, up by 3 per cent for the full year to £1.22bn and by 5 per cent for the fourth quarter to £289m.

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