Liverpool Victoria has signed a deal with Embark which will see advisers and their clients gain access to its retirement-focused platform via an LV-branded service.
The two firms said today (February 14) they were in “advanced stages” of development, with the service expected to land in the second half of 2022.
Through the LV-branded service, advisers and their clients will gain access to Embark’s full investment platform, which includes a choice of Sipp, Isa and General Investment Account wrappers.
They will also be able to invest in LV’s Smoothed Managed Funds range on the Embark platform. This range, designed for low-risk investors, is managed by global asset manager Columbia Threadneedle Investments.
LV has promised to upgrade its online adviser portal, and intends to offer direct access for advisers’ clients through LV’s new digital ‘My LV’ portal.
Clive Bolton, LV’s managing director of protection, savings and retirement, said LV’s smoothed funds range doubled inflows in 2021.
“Advisers and customers are attracted by their defence against market volatility coupled with attractive investment returns – especially appreciated by advisers’ cautious mass affluent clients,” said Bolton.
“To further enhance the appeal of SMF [Smoothed Managed Funds], we recognise that many advisers would prefer to be able to access them using full platform and digital trading technology.
“Our partnership with Embark will make that a reality later this year, which will include a wider range of SMF funds, launching later this year.”
Bolton added that the partnership will also enable LV to develop modelled portfolio options, focused on customer transition to retirement and drawdown for adviser consideration and adoption.
“This is one of a number of investment initiatives we have been developing [over] the last 12 months,” said Bolton.
“We’re on a mission to demonstrate how strongly-performing SMF, available in a modernised trading environment can have increasing relevancy and appeal for advisers and their clients.”
Jackie Leiper, Embark Group’s chief executive, said the two-way integration was a “resounding endorsement” of the platform’s position as a trusted partner for major providers in the investment and retirement space.
Earlier this month Embark, which was bought by Lloyds for £390mn last year, told FTAdviser it intends to pump investment into its platforms to make the offering more attractive to advisers.
Leiper said she saw a “massive opportunity for growth” in expanding the number of advisers currently using both of its platforms.
Embark has two platforms - the Embark Platform, which is retirement focused and offers advisers access to pensions and Isas, and Advance by Embark, formerly the Zurich platform, which caters to retail advisers.
LV said it was linking to the Embark Platform, offering an adviser intermediated service rather than a direct to consumer solution.