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Taking the wrap

While my esteemed colleagues were off sunning themselves, sorry, I mean scouring les rues of Nice for pension stories at our Retirement Planning Summit some of us were stuck in London covering the home turf. I’m not bitter though, as the sun was shining in London for a change.

The not-so-secret Meeting of the Minds took place again with the possible implications of the sale of Sesame to Friends Provident the major talking point.

Also this week, Threesixty announced it had signed up Seven Investment Management to its new adviser incentive scheme.

7IM offers a discretionary management service, a multi-manager and a wrap account, which Threesixty says places it above the competition in terms of variety and breadth of choice for its advisers, many of whom specialise in the higher end of the market.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of Standard Life taking a 25 per cent stake in Threesixty and it is as yet unknown whether either of Standard’s own platforms will be selected for Threesixty’s eventual panel of preferred offerings, with the beauty parade still taking place.

One wrap provider that we might presume will not be selected however is Lifetime, following the news this week that the platform is now closed off to new business while it gets its act together.

The news might not come as a shock to many of you, as the press has been full of stories about service problems at Lifetime both before and since its move from Cambridge to York.

But the platform says it is confident it will turn the service around and plans are still on track to have things sorted out by the end of the year. And good luck to them.

Meanwhile, another long-time-coming announcement we heard this week is that Selestia and Skandia’s combined platform will be launched in July under the branding Selestia Investment Solutions.

Chief executive of the newly-formed UK business unit Brett Williams says he is looking forward to going live with his ‘best of breed’ platform, taking hold of the distribution space and assisting the IFA community with the current move from a transactional, sales and indemnity-commission based remuneration model towards a more relationship, service-led model of financial advice.


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