A new financial services business model branded AXA & Winterthur Wealth Management has been unveiled following a strategic review of the business.
The merger comes a year and a half after AXA bought Winterthur Group from Credit Suisse in December 2006.
Its new business will encompass Winterthur's high net worth wealth management business, AXA's wealth management businesses including the Individual Pension and Investment business of AXA and its international business based in the Isle of Man.
Architas, AXA’s new multi-manager company, will provide both guided architecture and a range of multi-manager funds. Access will also be provided to the AXA Elevate wrap platform.
A centralized adviser support service, based on the Winterthur model, will be created to replace the decentralised AXA branch business support network.
It will give clients access to the full range of Winterthur and AXA products and a new sales team, led by Winterthur head of sales David Thompson, will be trained to give advice on all products.
The decision has been made for products to keep their AXA or Winterthur brands as the ranges have different specialisations and pricing structures. AXA is better known for its bond range and mainly uses commission-based structures while Winterthur is a pensions specialist utilising a flexible adviser remuneration model(similar to CAR).
It is expected that around 90 roles may be lost as a result of the new unit although redeployment opportunities will be investigated within the wider AXA Group.
Mike Kellard, CEO, AXA & Winterthur Wealth Management, says, “The primary aim of our new model is simple, to provide all our customers with the best products and service possible on a consistent basis. This will be done through one point of contact, based on Winterthur’s award-winning service model, whilst protecting the strength of both propositions and offering the full range of AXA and Winterthur wealth products with simplified access and improved service.
“The financial services industry is a fast evolving sector, yet it has been impacted by the current economic downturn. With AXA & Winterthur Wealth Management advisers and their clients will benefit over time from a strong service offering, a unique and powerful product proposition and, during the current economic difficulties, the strength of one of the largest and strongest companies in the world.”
The new business is currently undergoing regulatory checks and AXA Winterthur is hoping it can go live in October.IFAonline
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