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Turnaround as advisers put trust in life company-owned platforms

Change of perception brings Aviva and Axa in from the cold while outflows hit market’s ‘big three’

Shifting trends in the platform market mean life company-owned platforms are turning around perception among advisers, according to research by The Platforum.

Figures from its adviser guide show that the Aviva and Axa platforms have both seen a shift in adviser perception over the last year.

Asked if there were platforms that had been ignored in the past but which were now becoming more prominent, 12 per cent highlighted Aviva and 9 per cent pointed to Axa. 

The Platforum notes Aviva saw 13 per cent growth in assets in Q1.

It adds in its report that platforms backed by traditional life offices may have suffered from trust issues in the past. 

The Platforum says: “Previously many advisers would shun life company-owned platforms, citing bad experiences with the parent brands in the past and a lack of trust as the reason behind this. The research findings suggest that perceived benefits of engaging with larger, more established brands are gaining ground.”

However, it notes the “big three” platforms – Cofunds, Fidelity  and Skandia – are seeing significant outflows despite net growth.

In Q1 2014 Cofunds net sales were 28 per cent of gross sales. Skandia’s net sales were 34 per cent of their gross figure, and FundsNetwork’s 35 per cent.

The consultancy says Standard Life is bucking the trend with a 78 per cent net sales to gross ratio.

The survey also found 40 per cent of those interviewed deal with Cofunds as a “legacy” and are placing “minimal or zero” new clients onto the platform. Over a quarter of advisers mention Skandia as a legacy platform and 26 per cent name Fidelity FundsNetwork.

The Platforum head of data Richard Bradley says: “Whilst it would be expected that newer platforms Aviva and Aegon would have higher net:gross sales ratios, Standard Life’s results are very solid, given the size of the platform.

“It’s interesting to note that the life companies and former life companies – Aegon, Aviva, AXA and Standard Life – are those reporting some of the strongest results. In general, the life companies appear to be performing well at the moment.”



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  1. You might expect Standard Life wrap account to ” purchase ” a net inflow when their restricted advisers at Tenet connect Services Ltd, and the in house employed salespeople have been made redundant – and set up as ” advisers ” either independent or restricted, and as Standard Life controls, in full their existing ” pension retirement funds”, it seems likely they can be ” persuaded ” by Standard Life to perform – as required and churn other independent companies such as nucleous and transact and sip centre wrap accounts – into Standard Life wrap account. I have personal experience of this as a existing FCA ” authorised ” adviser acting under Martin Greenwood ( Tenet Group Ltd., – owned by Standard Life Aviva, Aegon and Friends Life ). The offer was 4.5% commissions ( for what existing customers had already paid 3 % initial – and the ” insurance company scam “, was we could offer our clients a 1.5% discount – therby only leaving the client paying 6% of the original investment – and generating 3% on the original investment and the growth of the fund. Is this how insurance company wrap accounts operate under FCA Rules ? Treating customers unfairly . . . The Standard Life way ! Hidden charges, Deceit and Deception – and the Tenet Connect Adviser then transfers accounts form HL, then buys and sells units on the basis of ” setting up a New account ” – a Portfolio Establishment Fee . . .for an established portfolio ! The best part is the advisers refused to meet the client . The advisers has no Terms of Business ( and under Tent Group Head of Regulation,Gill Davidson – the adviser – used ” the old advisers Terms of Business ” for which the adviser has not checked if any Terms of Business exists. The adviser claims charges were made to ” rebalance the portfolio ” under Tenet Group Processes – without taking into account the ” Entire Portfolio “. I have pointed these facts out to Gil Davidson – who after her ” full investigation ” offered the clients £ 300 ( out of one clients charges of some £ 900 ). Gill Davidson refused to investigate – even after I brought the matter to her attention. Interestingly Martin Greenwood CEO refuses to disclose the status of Tenet connect Adviser – referring to them as disclosed on their stationary. This means Tenet Connect Services advisers who disclose themselves as Independent Financial Advisers under FCA – with no checks by Martin Greenwood. The reality is Tenet Connect Services Ltd are restricted advisers – restricted by their employers – and restricted by their ” authority ” – under FCA ( permissions ) – yet continue to undermine the FCA – at the highest levels their owners . . . Standard Life Aviva Aegon and Friends Life – insurance companies who are purchasing wrap accounts – to recover . . . .some . . . .of their . . . .share of the market they lost – through . . . . .their negligence, their poor service – through their arrogance and complacency through their lack of support for advisers. Obviously by control of advisers through Tied Agency agreements and restricted adviser status . . .Standard Life’s David Nish and others can control the sale of products, control the type of investment ( EG Tenet connect Services Ltd , Symphoinia ISA which takes a maximum of 15 minutes to sell – from inception to implementation and fully explained to clients and commissions paid accordingly ? ) > This under FCA Rules for authorised advice ? This demonstrates the commissions salespeople of yesteryear are still trading under Standard Life and their colleagues – subversive subsidiaries . . . . . Flogging products to the masses without conducting any proper fact find without conducting any proper Risk Profiling without conducting – any Research merely finding clients to fit the products . . . . . . .for commissions by what ever name ( Like Equitable Life lied about ” No Commissions “, Lies Damned Lies and Deceit . . . . . . . .

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