Funds from 10 UK houses are to feature within Metlife's upcoming onshore and offshore bonds, while the group's Sipp will offer whole-of-market access. The Sipp, due to launch in January, will be the US insurer's first UK product, followed in the second quarter by investment bonds and further guaranteed products later in the year.
Artemis, BlackRock Merrill Lynch, Fidelity, Invesco Perpetual, Investec, JP Morgan, Jupiter, New Star, Newton and Schroders are on the bond panel, each offering a limited range of funds. While some firms have just one portfolio on the list, others have up to seven. Both the onshore and offshore bond will feature the same panel of funds, with the latter sold out of the firm's Irish subsidiary.
Intermediaries will be able to construct their own portfolios from the underlying products and will also have the option of choosing from one of five pre-constructed portfolios.
Featuring between 15 and 20 funds each, the portfolios are designed for clients with varying attitudes to risk. Starting with the most cautious, they will be Defensive Managed, Conservative Managed, Cautious Managed, Balanced Managed and Aggressive Managed. A capital guarantee structure will also be applied to the bonds.
Paul Shallis, chief operating officer at Metlife, said a key aspect of the Sipp would be its guaranteed benefits. "There will be a product within the Sipp that can provide long-term guarantees to customers taking income," he said. Shallis added that, in addition to original capital being safeguarded, customers will be able to lock in investment growth periodically.
Metlife is using Cofunds to provide the technology for the platform. Sipp investors will also be able to hold property as well as direct equities through online trading arrangements.
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