Chief executive for Aviva’s UK and Ireland life division, Doug Brown, told FTAdviser the company wants to develop a more personalised wealth service that can predict with greater certainty which customers want financial advice, versus those who want to manage their money themselves.
“We want to make sure that we’ve got all these solutions available to them, so customers can deal with Aviva in a manner that suits them,” said Brown.
Pressed on whether Aviva is working towards a hybrid advice service in the future, Brown said: “Ultimately, some type of hybrid capability would be part of our integrated wealth strategy.”
Last year, the firm launched a simplified advice pilot which initially faced delays.
Meanwhile, the Financial Conduct Authority has been gathering responses on a consultation it launched last year into simplified advice.
Brown said Aviva was “heavily involved” in this consultation.
He said Michele Golunska, managing director of Aviva’s wealth and advice arm, was meeting with the City watchdog and the Department for Work and Pensions to discuss it.
While Aviva has not committed to hard launching any sort of simplified advice service imminently, Brown said in the long-term Aviva wants to cater to all forms of advice.
While he acknowledged full financial advice had a big role to play in its wealth business, he also said lots of people still currently need help who are not receiving any kind of advice.
In line with this integrated wealth strategy, this year Aviva is also looking at how it can link Succession with its retirement arm.
In its 2022 results presentation today (March 9), the group announced the launch of its artificial intelligence-powered pension tracing and consolidation service, which it has developed with Founders Factory.
Brown said this launch speaks to Aviva’s strategy to better integrate the wealth business.
The company cut IT processes by 22 per cent last year.
Brown said the aim is to “do more with less”, as Aviva rationalises its systems to reduce the number of third-parties it works with.
This is particularly pertinent for the equity release business, a market Brown said Aviva had been in for a long time.
Aviva recorded an 11 per cent dip in profits for its wealth arm last year, which includes its adviser platform, Succession and the asset management business Aviva Investors.
Despite the dip in profit, Brown said the wealth arm did better than the majority of its peers, posting the second highest net flows of any adviser platform last year.