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Zurich platform loses £20bn assets after Scottish Widows deal

Zurich’s platform assets plunged to £8.7bn from £28.8bn in the last three months of 2017 following the sale of its workplace business to Scottish Widows, new figures show.

Latest data from consultancy Fundscape found Zurich assets accounted for the majority of assets falling among platforms in the first quarter of the year.

In April, Lloyds Banking Group-owned Scottish Widows finished the first phase of its acquisition of Zurich’s workplace pensions business by transferring its workplace investment products.

The deal was announced in October last year with Lloyds saying it was a signal of its commitment to the financial planning and retirement sector.

At the time of the sale announcement, Scottish Widows managed more than £124bn of funds of which £35bn is workplace pensions business.

Overall in the Fundscape report, gross sales on the major platforms rose to £30bn in the first quarter of 2018, as investors moved assets to safer havens.

However, the growth in sales was just up 5 per cent compared to the same quarter a year ago.

Net sales were at £13.3bn, a steady level compared to the previous quarter and slightly down year-on-year.

Hargreaves Lansdown topped the net sales ranking with nearly £2bn sales in the first quarter, followed by Standard Life with £1.6bn and Aviva, which had £1.5bn sales despite the long-lasting technical problems it has been facing due to replatforming.

Fundscape chief executive Bella Caridade-Ferreira says despite market falls platforms managed to retain clients’ assets. She says pensions attracted stronger flows than Isas and other short-term investments.

Caridade-Ferreira adds: “2018 will be a softer year than 2017, although flows will be more robust than earlier years. The feverish demand for pension freedom transfers is likely to begin to wane because of falling transfer values and far greater regulatory scrutiny. Brexit, FCA studies and the global outlook suggest it will be a bumpier ride this year.”

TOP 5 PLATFORMS BY GROSS SALES
Q1 2018 

TOP 5 PLATFORMS BY NET SALES
Q1 2018 

Cofunds

£6.7bn

Hargreaves Lansdown (est)*

£1.9bn

Fidelity

£3.3bn

Standard Life (est)*

£1.6bn

Hargreaves Lansdown (est)*

£2.9bn

Aviva

£1.5bn

Standard Life (est)*

£2.5bn

AJ Bell (est)*

£1.5bn

Old Mutual

£2.5bn

Aegon

£1.4bn

TOP 5 RETAIL ADVISED PLATFORMS BY GROSS SALES
Q1 2018 

TOP 5 RETAIL ADVISED PLATFORMS BY NET SALES
Q1 2018 

Standard Life (est)*

£2.5bn

Standard Life (est)*

£1.6bn

Old Mutual

£2.4bn

Aviva

£1.5bn

Aviva

£1.7bn

Old Mutual

£1.2bn

AJ Bell (est)*

£1.6bn

AJ Bell (est)*

£1.2bn

Transact

£1.5bn

Transact

£1.1bn

Source: Fundscape

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