Articles - Ready for RDR across entire proposition


 AXA Wealth believes it now has one of the most RDR-ready and specialised offers in the marketplace today, as it confirms it is now fully RDR-ready, with adviser charging available across its entire proposition.

 Its final milestone was reached on December 31, when its specialist Family Suntrust family SIPP went live as an RDR-ready retirement solution. This followed the news that its Elevate wrap was RDR-ready before Christmas, it had launched a new range of clean share classes from Architas in November, that its off-platform pension and onshore bond business and its AXA Wealth International offshore investment proposition were RDR-ready in early December.

 Since the company was launched in 2010, after the sale of AXA's legacy life book, AXA Wealth has designed its offer around a simple business unit structure, segmenting the market to develop highly specialised propositions aimed at different customer groups.

 Its new model focuses on excellence in platform, with AXA Wealth Elevate; expertise in at-retirement solutions, with AXA Wealth specialist products; multi-manager and blended fund capability with Architas, and offshore tax planning with AXA Wealth International, all underpinned with a ‘making investing easy' philosophy, which is at the heart of its new AXA Self Investor service, available direct to consumers via intermediaries.

 Mike Kellard, CEO, AXA Wealth, says: "There are few companies out there that are better positioned than AXA Wealth to take advantage of the opportunities that we are now seeing in the industry. Our strategy, which was planned years ahead, is focused on us becoming a platform winner, on placing investments at the heart of our business, and to innovate with specialist products like individual and group SIPPs."

 Key drivers of the AXA Wealth strategy:

 ♦ Advisers are recognising the efficiency of managing assets on wrap platforms and AXA Wealth expects them to start transferring these assets away moving from traditional life companies and fund supermarkets to platforms like Elevate
 ♦ The at-retirement market is very active with the baby boomer generation looking to consolidate their pension and investment pots, which will benefit AXA Wealth's specialist products unit, with its range of individual and group SIPP solutions alongside investment bonds
 ♦ Advisers are increasingly outsourcing their investment proposition to specialists, such as Architas
 a growing number of consumers are trading direct, with many clients not requiring ongoing financial advice or unwilling to pay a fee for a simple transaction, such as an ISA. This is an opportunity for AXA Self Investor working with advisers.

 Mike Kellard continues: "At AXA Wealth, we took the decision in 2010 that we did not want to compete as general ‘waterfront player' but to focus on creating a select range of highly specialised offerings to catch the many opportunities emerging from the wealth management market to meet our customers' very differing needs.

 "For example, wrap platforms are perfect for a growing number of advisers and their clients, so we have invested heavily on making Elevate the best platform we can. But it is not for all customers. We have therefore focused as well on our specialist products business. This business has far greater focus in time to catch the many ‘baby boomers' who are now entering retirement and consolidating their existing pension pots.

 "Likewise, offshore tax planning or even self-investing may be for some all that is required, so we have segmented the market and have highly specialised propositions aimed at these different segments." 

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