Skandia will offer both unbundled and bundled charging structures as well as broadening the range of investments on its platform to help advisers meet RDR requirements.
The provider says it will continue to use its capital strength to invest heavily in the Skandia Investment Solutions platform, with developments to be made well in advance of the RDR implementation deadline at the end of 2012.
Key features will include a new unbundled charging structure which splits out adviser, fund group and platform charges. This will be run in parallel with the current bundled charging structure in the run-up to the RDIP.
Despite hints the FSA will push for charges on platforms to be unbundled, our sister title Professional Adviser recently reported the regulator appears to be confused about how to apply adviser charging to the platform space.
Its latest policy statement on the issue is due by the end of March, with many advisers calling for a clear set of rules on how unbundled charges are displayed.
Skandia also intends to providing access to a broader range of unit trusts / OEICs, ETFs, investment trusts and protected investments through the platform. Additional asset classes such as direct equities and gilts will be added in due course.
However, Skandia will continue to apply a rigorous due diligence process to any new investments. This will include assessing the strength of the provider, the structure of the product as well as tradability.
It will also provide a flexible central cash account to aid portfolio management, including the handling of fees, charges, contributions and income distributions.
Peter Mann, chief development officer at Skandia, says: “The requirements of the RDIP and the natural evolution of how platforms are used by IFAs are leading the way to universally unbundled charging structures.
“However, in the period running up to RDIP it would be wrong for a platform to dictate
to advisers how they run their businesses and therefore we will continue to offer advisers choice by running two charging structures in parallel to give them maximum flexibility.”
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