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Three-tier charges for NU and Millfield wrap

Millfield and Norwich Union&#39s Lifetime wrap platform is set for an autumn launch, offering a choice of 400 funds from across 40 fund managers.

Lifetime will have a three-tier charge structure with a 0.5 to 0.9 per cent management charge plus an advice charge set by the adviser as well as the fund managers&#39 annual management charge.

NU is understood to prefer that Millfield sells its 41 per cent stake in Lifetime to make it easier to market the wrap proposition to other IFAs.

Lifetime is in the middle of tie-up talks with the UK&#39s top 10 IFA firms but NU bel-ieves deals would be easier if it was not part-owned by a rival IFA.

NU is hoping that most Millfield advisers will use the offering, whether it sells its stake or not.

Analysts say Millfield could be encouraged to sell its stake in Lifetime as it could need a cash injection to cover restructuring and running costs if the proposed merger with Inter-Alliance goes ahead.

Millfield&#39s stake in the platform has been assessed as being worth roughly half of Millfield&#39s current £58m market capitalisation.

Last December, NU inv-ested £10m in Lifetime, taking its stake up to 49.9 per cent. Millfield originally invested £3.1m in the company it set up as a joint venture with Australian wrap company AM Corporation before buying out its share.

NU does not currently have a significant external fund link operation and is understood to view the Lifetime project as covering itself in the distribution marketplace if wrap takes off.

NU head of distribution development Mark Crow says: “We do not want to be second best going into this market. We want to offer lots of fund choice in an open architecture environment.”

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