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Standard Life pledges no admin issues with Elevate merger

Standard Life pledges no admin issues with Elevate merger

Standard Life has sought to reassure advisers who use the Elevate platform that there will be no disruption to their daily activities, as the group works through the details of the takeover. 

Yesterday (1 November) the insurance giant announced it had completed the purchase of Elevate, and had started a consultation with advisers about how the move with affect their businesses.

The deal was announced back in May after French insurer Axa announced it planned to refocus its business and retreat from parts of the UK market.

David Tiller, Standard Life’s head of adviser and wealth manager propositions, said he was “absolutely not” anticipating any administrative issues would arise when the two platforms start to consolidate. 

He said continuity of service is “front of mind” for advisers, adding: “This has to be the thing we protect above all else.”

Mr Tiller pointed out that the team running Elevate will still be in place to continue to support the business and ensure there is no interruption to the service.

While 44 jobs have been cut from the Elevate business as a result of the takeover, Mr Tiller said there would be no further immediate changes after the completion of the transaction.  

The Standard Life head said: “We will do absolutely everything in our ability to make sure adviser businesses are not disrupted in any way.

“We don’t expect many advisers will choose to leave,” he said, pointing to an early feedback survey from advisers which indicated 70 per cent of advisers on the Elevate platform would be placing the same or more business on the platform over the next six months.

“Most advisers are seeing this as a positive move,” he said, adding that just because 30 per cent of advisers did not make a positive statement about the merger, doesn’t mean they were negative about it.

“We don’t think there are many advisers who are making a pre-emptive decision to move, and if they planned to move then they would have done it already.

“But the persistency on the Elevate platform has been very good and there has been a high degree of loyalty.”

Mr Tiller said he thinks most advisers are waiting to see what Standard Life ends up doing with Elevate before making a decision about whether to stay.

“We are not going to impose our ideas upon the advisers using the Elevate platform, and want to provide the service they want.”

But he said the group is still waiting for feedback from advisers before establishing the details of the amalgamation and the priorities for investment.

The group expects to have the early stage of a plan in place towards the middle of November once the adviser survey is complete.