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Standard Life eyes D2C investment with Canada sale cash

Standard Life is set to invest in its direct-to-consumer footprint in the UK using funds from the sale of its Canadian arm to Manulife. 

The £2.2bn deal with Manulife, announced this week, saw the firm pay £1.75bn to shareholders.

Speaking in a briefing following the announcement, Standard Life chief executive David Nish said: “In terms of the UK we’ve got a very strong position in the adviser market, we’re growing strongly with auto-enrolment and we’re strongly placed in the market in terms of Sipp, wrap and drawdown.

“One of the things that we’re looking at is how we grow in the D2C space particularly around mutual funds and Isas.” 

Asked how the balance from the sale would be invested, Nish said: “It gives us the potential to go ahead and evaluate potential investment opportunities. We see the UK marketplace as one where we’ve got a very strong franchise.

“We’ve got a very strong franchise in many of the areas that benefit from the Budget changes. We will certainly look very positively at developing particularly our D2C offering in the UK.”

Standard Life has previously hinted at plans to expand its existing D2C presence post-RDR. It currently supports business through the direct channel, including a consumer-facing Isa.

A Standard Life spokeswoman says: “Standard Life already operates as a multi-channel business, with customers self-serving online with us. We continually look to improve this self-serve proposition to enhance the customer experience.”

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