AJ BellAug 9 2021

AJ Bell drops 'agent as client' MPS relationship

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AJ Bell drops 'agent as client' MPS relationship

AJ Bell has updated its managed portfolio service to a ‘reliance on others’ basis, meaning advisers will no longer be responsible for their clients' underlying investments.

The change means the adviser will no longer be treated as the client of the MPS manager, meaning they will not be liable for their clients' investment decisions and will not have to deal with complaints about the underlying investments.

The new model will see the client as the investor, creating a direct relationship between all three parties - adviser, client and MPS manager.

Responsibility for managing the portfolio will rest solely with the MPS manager, leaving the adviser to assess only the initial and ongoing suitability of the MPS solution itself.

The changes apply to the entire AJ Bell MPS range, and no action is required from advisers.

AJ Bell pledged there would be no additional cost to advisers or clients and that it would not contact clients more than it currently does. It will also not require any additional client information on an ongoing basis.

Kevin Doran, managing director at AJ Bell Investments, said: “This is a change driven by advisers. Our MPS is growing in popularity as advisers appreciate the combination of choice, cost and communication we have committed to offering the market.  

“Having operated our partnership portfolios on a reliance on others basis for a number of years, many advisers have told us that they’d prefer the MPS to operate on the same basis.  

“Advisers will understand the importance of that to their business, both in terms of the reduction in risk it delivers and the substantial time savings it will generate.”

In March the platform launched a responsible MPS for clients who want to avoid controversial industries and companies with low ESG rankings.

According to AJ Bell, the responsible MPS follows the same structure as its passive and active MPS options, with six risk-managed portfolios matching six risk profiles.

All the portfolios are multi-asset using cash, bonds, equities, and alternatives. 

The MPS has an investment management fee of 0.15 per cent with no VAT.