InvestmentsMar 6 2023

Vitality Invest builds client transfer route with Abrdn

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Vitality Invest builds client transfer route with Abrdn
The transfer solution allows Vitality's investment clients to move to Abrdn's Wrap platform [Jonne Roriz/Bloomberg]

Vitality Invest has established a transfer route for its clients to Abrdn as part of its withdrawal from the retail investment market.

The life insurer, which entered the investment market back in 2018, began winding down its investment service in the summer of last year.

Advisers have since had to decide where to house their clients.

However, last month (February 15), Vitality told advice firms it had established a new partnership with Abrdn. 

The firm told FTAdviser: “This will provide members and advisers with the option of a seamless transfer process for any investment plans with Vitality, giving access to similar products and funds with Abrdn, on a comparable charge structure. 

“Members are under no obligation to move their plans over to Abrdn and can transfer to another provider, if they wish.”

Some providers feel, however, there is little wriggle room for clients to go anywhere other than Abrdn now.

One told FTAdviser that during a recent platform migration for an IFA client, the advice firm said it was agreed that Vitality clients would go to Abrdn’s platform and that they cannot transfer them to any other platform.

Neither provider announced the partnership on the stock exchange because Abrdn had not bought Vitality’s book of business, and the partnership is not technically an ‘agreed client transfer announcement’.

An Abrdn spokesperson told FTAdviser: “We're proud to partner with Vitality to offer advisers and their clients a solution for the ongoing management of their investments. 

“We’re working with the team at Vitality Invest to put in place an easy and streamlined transfer solution for existing clients to move to the Abrdn Wrap platform.  

“Recognising their unique circumstances, we’ll be ensuring no customer is worse off when they transfer from Vitality to Abrdn and look forward to customers being able to benefit from everything Abrdn Wrap has to offer.”

Back in October 2021, Vitality appointed Justin Taurog, who led the firm’s investment plans service, as managing director of VitalityLife - its life insurance business.

The move saw Taurog remain in his role as managing director of Vitality Invest.

At the helm of Vitality Invest, Taurog steered the firm towards sustainable product launches.

In June 2021, the insurer unveiled its ESG fund range called “Enviro”, which comprised five index-tracking funds.

Available as part of Vitality Invest’s retirement solution, as well as its Isa and Jisa ranges, the launch was described by Taurog as “a landmark moment” for the investment arm.