InvestmentsJun 11 2018

Vitality enters investment market

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Vitality enters investment market
ByDavid Thorpe

Insurance company Vitality is launching a range of investment products in the UK, initially aimed at the financial adviser market.

The range includes actively managed funds, to be run by Investec Asset Management, and risk weighted passive funds, run by Vanguard. Distribution Technologies has created the risk profiles.

The actively managed funds comprise seven growth mandates, and include multi-asset funds and three income products.

There are five passive funds.

Investors who take action to ensure a healthy lifestyle can receive a discount on the product fee charged by Vitality for the funds.

Investors who are platinum members, and therefore are deemed by the company to be pursuing the healthiest lifestyles, can pay no product fee.

In addition, investors receive a 2 per cent boost to their investment pot if they hold the product for 5 years, and these rise the longer the product is held up to a maximum of 15 years.

Externally managed funds, from companies such as JP Morgan, Schroders, and Woodford Investment Management will also be available to clients of Vitality Invest via the company’s own adviser hub.

The creation of this platform, the technology for which was provided by GBST, was described as “the biggest challenge” of launching the new venture by Justin Taurog, managing director of Vitality Invest.

He said he was mindful of the challenges encountered by other investment firms recently when building the platform.

In recent weeks Aegon, in integrating platform giant Cofunds into its business after buying it in 2016, has faced a barrage of criticism from advisers and investors over technological problems which left them without access to their and their clients' assets.

Aviva has suffered similar problems since the start of the year following a platform upgrade, with angry advisers threatening to abandon the investment and insurance company altogether as a result.

Vitality have 180 business representatives around the country whose role is to work with health and life insurance advisers, and is adding 60 more posts to work with advisers who deal with investments on behalf of clients.

The aim is for the product to be available to retail clients by the end of this year.

Tom Conner of advice firm Drewberry Wealth said the new offering from Vitality is “ an intriguing approach to trying to solve the UK’s retirement savings problem".

"For many people there is a significant shortfall in retirement provisions that currently exists, and the longer people live, the more that shortfall is likely to be exposed.

"Any new ideas to help people save more for longer should be welcomed.