NFU Mutual is to launch a basic platform to give advisers and direct clients access to external fund groups for the first time.
The life company plans to "gap-fill" areas where it does not have a fund with those from other managers, including the Asia Pacific, Global Bond and Smaller Companies sectors.
It will also offer an online ISA wrapper, replacing the need to apply for products via post.
"Our in-house funds will continue to be the cornerstone of our investment proposition," said investment marketing executive Chris Linpow. "But from research there is an expectation from customers to be able to access to external funds as well."
"The platform is the mechanism to facilitate that where possible: it's not a full platform at this stage although that may be our longer term aim."
The service will be made available to direct clients, though Linpow was keen to stress that the advised market would continue to make up the bulk of NFU Mutual's business.
"The primary route will continue to be advised, but if the client wanted to buy without advice they will be able to," he said. "We haven't got a slick D2C platform in place."
In 2005, the firm signed a deal with technology company Harlosh to consolidate the insurer's existing legacy systems into a single application. It also currently operates a restricted advice arm.
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