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SL platform boss says fee cuts were key to growth

SL platform boss says fee cuts were key to growth

The cuts to fees charged to clients of the Elevate platform in 2019 resulted in “very significant” client inflows, according to the platform’s boss Noel Butwell.

Mr Butwell, who is chief executive of Standard Life Savings, in charge of the firm's platforms and advice arm, was commenting in light of the three platforms within the business reporting net inflows of £2.3bn during the year, taking their assets under administration to £62bn.

Mr Butwell said the “aggressive” platform fee cuts, which were announced in February 2019 and involved a drop of up to 15 basis points for some clients, had “led to quite a lot of momentum in terms of flows in the second half of 2019 and this has carried on into 2020.”

Mr Butwell said the number of new customers on the platforms rose by 5 per cent in 2019.

At the time the re-pricing was announced, the company stated it was able to make such cuts due to the advantages of scale. 

In December the company announced that clients on the Wrap platform would be able to lock in their existing fee even after they have entered drawdown and the pot of assets they have on the platform falls.

Mr Butwell is also responsible for the 1825 advice business at the firm.

He said he “wouldn’t rule anything out” in terms of making more acquisitions and the size of such deals, but that having made two substantial acquisitions in 2019, the focus right now was on integrating those businesses.

The firm saw two high profile acquisitions in the year with BDO Northern Ireland’s wealth management arm in March and Grant Thornton’s £1.7bn wealth advisory business in July. 

The company has 110 financial planners. This business had revenue of £107m, up from £105m the previous year. 

david.thorpe@ft.com

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