Fidelity launches bid to secure cheap shares

Fidelity is attempting to secure access to new super-cheap share classes through the launch of a major investment programme which will offer a range of services to fund managers.

The group claims its ‘Access’ programme will grant fund managers “significant benefits” including greater access to Fidelity staff and “an enhanced programme of marketing and events”.

In return for these features the company said it would “expect participants to... supply the platform with the lowest cost share classes available”.

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Ed Dymott, Fidelity’s head of business development, said the programme would not restrict advisers’ choice at all and was not designed as a revenue generator for the group. Instead he said the move was aimed at aligning more fund managers with FundsNetwork’s development.

“The entire platform market is changing,” Mr Dymott said. “Technology and regulation is reshaping the landscape and there will be a very different proposition emerging in the next few years. It’s very important that fund managers are aligned with this.”

However, he emphasised that those managers which do not sign up will not have their product ranges restricted in any way.

The Access programme is the latest in a series of investments Fidelity has made into its platform, expected to total roughly £250m over the course of the next few years.

Cofunds yesterday confirmed it was to alter its existing agreements with fund managers to guarantee the platform access to the lowest-cost shares.