A spokesperson for Brewin Dolphin said it was “one of the bigger distributors and can command keen pricing”, but said price was not the only consideration when picking a fund and it was “more concerned with funds’ potential return than shaving a few basis points here and there”.
Analysis: Discretionaries on hunt for cheaper shares
While they do not have the same amount of assets that the major platforms do, the most prominent discretionary managers, such as Rathbone Brothers, Brewin Dolphin and Investec Wealth and Investment (IW&I), are larger than most wrap platforms.
Rather than just acting as a facilitator of asset purchases, the discretionary managers actively allocate funds and therefore have more commercial influence.
IW&I is the biggest wealth manager in the UK, surpassing £40bn in assets under management earlier this year, while Brewins has total assets, discretionary and advised, of £27.5bn and Rathbones £20bn.
This makes them substantially larger than the Standard Life platform, whose assets under administration hit £16.8bn as of the most recent update in August.
The big wealth managers were reportedly major players in the negotiations about cheaper share price deals back before the RDR and they look set to get in on the act when discounted prices are rolled out later this year.