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Widows and Ascentric in corporate wrap move

Both Scottish Widows and Ascentric will enter the corporate wrap market this year and Nucleus says it is looking at the sector.

Ascentric head of marketing Dominic Ventham says the firm is in talks with an employee benefits portal about working tog-ether on the wrap and will aim to launch by the end of the year after first testing it with its own employees. Scottish Widows says its corporate platform is in development stage.

Friends Provident signed a contract with FNZ to power its corporate wrap and Axa is considering launching a corporate platform alongside Elevate. Standard Life plans to bring its corporate wrap to the market by the end of the year and Aegon is to set up a platform within a year but will not specify if it will be corporate. Legal & General already has a corporate platform.

Ventham says: “We use our own technology so it is fairly straightforward.”

He says it will include an Isa, Sipp, general investment acc-ount and share saveplan.

Widows director of corporate pensions John Taylor says: “We have concluded that such propositions can make a significant difference to both employers and employees. We have been developing a proposition and plan to announce details in the coming months.”

Ventham says: “If anyone is going to launch a corporate wrap in the next year, it will be one of the smaller players. In reality, how quickly are the bigger life offices able to develop something like this?”

Nucleus chief executive David Ferguson says: “We have some demand from our IFA shareholders which means it is on our list but I do not think it is the next big thing and it will not be a getout-of-jail free card for the life offices that have been unable to make individual wrap work.”

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