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By Donia O'Loughlin | Published Apr 26, 2012

Axa to offer Brooks Macdonald risk-rated portfolios

Axa Wealth has announced that its platform Elevate is now offering risk-rated portfolios from discretionary manager Brooks Macdonald Asset Management.

Axa said that the service will provide three specially designed segregated portfolios that advisers will be able to use to match clients’ attitude to risk.

It added that intermediaries will benefit from being able to delegate investment management and thus reduce day-to-day administration, as well as “flexible charging options”.

David Thompson, managing director of marketing and distribution for Axa Wealth, said: “We have seen a strong start to the year for the Elevate platform with assets surpassing £4bn, but we continually look for ways to improve the service we offer advisers.

“We have an ‘RDR-ready’ proposition and partnerships like the one with Brooks Macdonald ensures that Axa Wealth is able to offers advisers expertise and a broad investment choice.”

Andrew Shepherd, joint managing director at BMAM, said: “Advisers are now able to utilise our services via the Elevate platform with no restriction on portfolio size.

“Our robust investment management proposition will be available through a number of models and funds designed to meet the differing needs of their clients.”

Recent guidelines from the Financial Services Authority have caused some to question the credibility of ‘off-the-shelf’ discretionary management propositions and model portfolios, after the regulator warned that advisers were “shoehorning” clients into potentially unsuitable outsourced solutions.

Graham Bentley, head of proposition at Skandia UK, told FTAdviser sister title Investment Adviser this week that that there are flaws in the practice of advisers outsourcing to DFMs who offer off-the-shelf solutions such as model portfolios.

“What happens is a DFM comes to a platform with a model portfolio, and up they go, and IFAs buy one but the DFM knows nothing about the customer?” Mr Bentley said.

His comments were labelled as “nonsensical rubbish” by Novia chief executive Bill Vasilief, who told Investment Adviser that it was “absolutely untrue” to suggest that off-the-shelf DFM solutions were dead following the FSA paper.

He said: “IFAs outsource asset choices and management to DFMs and it is absolutely acceptable and regarded as good practice. The paper does not say that you cannot use off-the-shelf.

“I have told Graham [Bentley] to check with his compliance department before spouting nonsensical rubbish.”

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