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Standard Life boss: ‘No reason’ for advisers to abandon Elevate platform

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Standard Life says there is no reason for advisers to abandon Axa’s Elevate platform after Standard Life completed its acquisition of the platform today.

The acquisition was confirmed in May and will almost double Standard Life’s customer base, bringing over 160,000 to the business, and raising total numbers to 350,000.

Speaking to Money Marketing, Standard Life adviser and wealth manager propositions head David Tiller says the completion of the deal brings an end to a period of “prolonged uncertainty” for advisers.

He says: “I don’t think there is any reason for advisers to be moving off the platform…I hope and believe that advisers will now feel reassured that the platform is in ownership of a business that is committed to the platform market in the UK and willing to invest and build and develop to proposition to support them.”

Standard Life has started surveying Elevate advisers to find out what they want Standard Life to provide for them and what they are trying to do with their business.

Tiller says Standard Life has not yet made a decision about fees.

He explains: “We have not reached a decision about fees or detailed shape of proposition. The reason for that is because we need to truly understand what advisers on Elevate want. There are over 3000 advisers in the combined business and less than 10 per cent of advisers use both [Standard Life] Wrap and Elevate.”

Tiller explains: “In acquiring Elevate we are entering into relationships with a whole group of advisers who have picked a different platform for different reasons. We want to understand what their reasons were, what they want, what is the most important thing to them. Clearly price is one dimension, functionality and service levels are other dimensions.”

Experts previously told Money Marketing Standard Life could lose up to one third of Elevate’s assets through the deal but Tiller dismisses such predictions.

He says: “The assets on Elevate have been persistent. There has been a high degree of loyalty with the Elevate proposition. I don’t see that those sort of predictions are being borne out in the reality.”

Backing advice

In an email to advisers this morning from Standard Life’s distribution director Noel Butwell, seen by Money Marketing, Standard Life says the Elevate deal shows its commitment to advisers.

The email reads: “As a strong advocate of the value of financial advice, this further strengthens our advisory platform capability.”

“The provision of platform services to professional advisers is core to our strategy and we aim to lead the market in the quality of the propositions and service we offer.

We’re committed to providing you with the stability you require to build your business, offering a high quality service that fits your needs for many years to come. The acquisition of Elevate provides us with greater flexibility in supporting advisers going forward.”

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Comments

There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Nicholas Pleasure 1st November 2016 at 2:12 pm

    I don’t know…maybe there’s the fact that Standard Life is both a provider and a competitor. Personally I’d rather support a platform that I might not find myself competing against in the future.

  2. ….. apart from it is rubbish compared to others. It often surprises me when I have spoken to other platform providers that they know little about their competition or what IFAs want and need.

    The difference between providers is absolutely startling. Hence it is easy to see that a few years from know the (few) quality will clean up completely. The question is will Elevate be among them.

  3. Surely one of the key things advisers with assets on the Elevate platform will want (particularly in the short term) is a continuation of the service and pricing that Elevate has previously delivered?

  4. Elevate is very good from an admin point of view. Yes a few quirks here and there but they all have that. It is not the cheapest. It is not the most expensive. It never tried to pinch my business, unlike Standard Life. I am not happy about Standard Life now being the owner and it would need a lot to persuade me to continue using Elevate for new business.

    • Spot on – 1825 advisers well known for utilising platform data to assist in sales efforts. Unethical if not unlawful. Platforms need to know their place and stick to it.

  5. I echo David’s sentiment. Trust is an important factor and based on their past history I don’t trust Standard Life not to contact my clients directly from a marketing perspective. I will need some pretty solid reassurances.

  6. Nicholas & David have put their finger on it. Standard like has shown conclusively that if you are an IFA you would be most unwise to trust them. Running with the hare and hunting with the hounds is no way to win friends and influence people.

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