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Williams to develop Skandia wealth unit

Skandia’s new wealth management unit is to be headed by the chief executive of its UK business unit, Brett Williams.

Williams says the service will research and develop a strategy to bring wealth management solutions to customers with between £1m and £10m to invest through the adviser market.

The unit will have its own development budget and team who will report directly to Skandia Group chief executive Julian Roberts.

Skandia UK and offshore division chief executive Nick Poyntz-Wright takes over from Williams as chief executive of the UK business unit.

Williams says private banks tend to offer off-the-shelf services unless clients have at least £10m to invest but he believes these clients deserve better.

The wealth management unit will launch in two phases. The first is expected to take between six and nine months, including three months of researching the market before a business plan is drawn up.

The unit should be fully operational within 18 months to two years and Williams says that it will warrant “significant financial investment” by Skandia.

He says: “We will be doing a lot of work discovering what advisers actually need to service their wealthy clients. It is not just about asset allocation and portfolio planning tools, as so many of these now exist that they have become largely commoditised.

“I am looking forward to working from a blank sheet of paper. This is a huge growth market.”

Roberts says: “The creation of the wealth management unit demonstrates Skandia’s intention to research the market to ensure it continues to be seen as the natural provider of customer solutions today as well as in the future.”


The generation gap

I have just been in Monte Carlo debating many issues surrounding retirement planning. There is always a debate about how to get people saving for retirement but the real business involves “at retirement” options or inheritance tax, effectively a discussion of how people lucky enough to already have a big pot of money will plan for the years anywhere from 50 to over 70.


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