Aviva to launch low-cost simplified advice pilot this year

Aviva to launch low-cost simplified advice pilot this year

Aviva has confirmed that later this year it will launch a simplified advice pilot which will be a low-cost digital version of Aviva Financial Advice.

The FTSE 100 firm said it will look to launch a pilot later this year which will be a simpler, digitised model at a low cost point, to help clients decide whether they are in the right funds and whether they should bring two pensions together.

Speaking to FTAdviser, Doug Brown, Aviva UK Life's chief executive, said the proposition would initially be offered online and through fact finding.

“We'll continually review our advice proposition against the customer’ demands, the abridged service, and will pilot the simplified advice so all this is hopefully looking to help bridge the advice gap,” he said.

Aviva, which owns robo-adviser Wealthify, said this would not be robo-advice service and that the main fact-finding would be done online through a personal finance portal, with advice given by an adviser at the point of decision-making.

In May the company expanded Aviva Financial Advice to offer advice on investments, in addition to pensions, annuities and defined benefit transfers.

Commenting on this Brown said: “It's only been a few months but we continue to think advice is crucial to consumers and we refocused last year away from just providing the pension and annuity to create a service that looks at the broader wealth.

“We've added the abridged low cost lighter touch advice service earlier in the year and then more recently the investment advice and it's just that all those areas are important in terms of planning a retirement income for customers and clearly, we think we have a role to play in helping to bridge the advice gap and providing advice to our customers who do not already have a financial adviser.”

In its half year results published today (August 12), Aviva said its adviser platform market saw record sales as net flows grew by 49 per cent to £2.7bn and assets under management increased by 29 per cent to £37bn. 

Savings and retirement net flows were up 24 per cent, benefiting from strong performance in both workplace and platform.

Brown said: “I would say that the replatforming issues are behind us and hopefully you can see that from these numbers. Obviously anytime you have a platform, you're continually looking to invest in it and add functionality which we're doing. 

“For example, ESG remains a big opportunity for platforms to help advisers identify the solutions that their clients are looking for in terms of their preferences. Clearly, ESG is something that Aviva thinks is very important and I know we're looking to add further functionality to our adviser platform in the second half of the year that really gives the capability for people to report on the carbon footprint and the diversity that's within the holdings of the portfolio.”

He said this was one example of further functionality that Aviva was looking to add to to continue to invest in the platform and it is something it believes aligns with what advisers and customers are looking for at the moment.