Investment hypermarket to combine Skandia Life and Royal Skandia products by year end
Skandia is unifying its onshore and offshore products to provide a single platform for advisers to manage all their clients' portfolios.
The creation of an 'investment hypermarket', combining the product lines of Skandia Life and Royal Skandia, will be partially completed by the end of the year.
Colin Jelley, UK marketing and technical manager for Skandia, said: 'As a group, if you look at Royal Skandia and Skandia Life, there is not a consistent fund range. What we want is for the adviser to be able to manage clients' investments from a single point.'
Skandia has already added tools to help intermediaries pick funds but now wants to go further by allowing them to look at assets in a single place. This should allow intermediaries to state the overall exposure of a client to markets, rather than by product type.
In addition, the investment hypermarket, the group's working title for the project, will allow advisers to move all their clients from one fund to another, irrespective of whether they were investing in the onshore or offshore versions.
Jelley said: 'Skandia is doing all the admin for the advisers, so they can switch all the funds at once.'
The complications of having different systems for onshore, offshore and pension products will be gone, Skandia hopes.
Jelley said: 'I think you are going to have to end up with fund supermarkets with added value services. Supermarkets will extend the range of services currently offered. For instance, at the moment they have unit trusts but not offshore bonds.
'There would be different taxation so the performance would be slightly different but this way you could have the whole thing as a single portfolio.'
Initially, it will be made available to advisers based in the UK, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man but Jelley is confident that, if it takes off, it could be made available for a wider, Europe client base.
He said: 'If an Englishman or a Scotsman thinks it is a good idea then why wouldn't a Swede?'
Meanwhile, Royal Skandia, the offshore arm of the Skandia Group, has expanded its multi-manager range with the addition of four funds.
The group is linking to further funds managed by Aberdeen, Fidelity, M&G and Merrill Lynch.
Royal Skandia will offer Aberdeen Fixed Interest, available in sterling, dollars, Hong Kong dollars and euro share classes.
Royal Skandia Sterling Fidelity Japan Special Situations, Royal Skandia Sterling M&G British Opportunities and the Royal Skandia Dollar Mercury ST New Energy portfolios will also feature multiple currency share classes.
Phil Morse, investment brand manager at Royal Skandia, said: 'The Royal Skandia Dollar Mercury ST New Energy fund deserves a special mention as we are seeing more and more funds launching that take account of not just investment issues but also the planet's long-term well-being.
'This fund is unique and has no direct competitors. It invests in one of the world's fastest growing sectors, renewable energy, automotive and on-site power generation, energy storage and enabling energy technology.'
The group has also launched a phased investment fund choice programme as an extra service to intermediaries.
The service, which will be available on the Royal Skandia Managed Capital Account and Executive Wealthbuilder Account, allows clients to drip-feed into stock markets over a three or six-month period.
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