Standard Life Wrap to improve access to ETFs

May 13th, 2013 | By | Category: ETF and Index News

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Standard Life recently revealed plans – dubbed the ‘Leading Platform Programme’ – to enhance its wrap platform aimed at UK financial advisers. One of the key upgrades scheduled over the next 12 months is to deliver improved access to exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Standard Life Wrap to improve access to ETFs

David Tiller, Standard Life Head of Platform Propositions.

The move to enhance access to ETFs is reflective of the growing interest in the product among advisers since the introduction of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR).

David Tiller, Standard Life Head of Platform Propositions, said: “Key to Standard Life’s on-going success is supporting the growth of leading advisory businesses. I believe supporting quality advisers is the biggest opportunity in our market, and we are committed to delivering the leading solution for them.”

Tiller claimed that Standard Life Wrap would be “one of very few platforms able to offer the combination of technology, investment capability and business support that advisers need to succeed in what will be a period of profound change in our market.”

As well as the recently announced move to clean and super-clean share classes and easier access to ETFs, advisers can expect to see enhancements to usability, including simpler processes for advisers and their clients; better support for advisers’ central investment processes; integrated investment tools; and deeper integration with leading back office systems

Lately, improving access to ETFs has been a common theme among platforms aimed at UK financial advisers. Last year Fidelity’s popular FundsNetwork platform added an initial range of 50 ETFs from providers including iShares, Credit Suisse, HSBC and ETF Securities. Similarly, Barclays Stockbrokers re-launched its service for the intermediary market, delivering simpler access to a broad range of ETFs and ETCs.

From the perspective of ETF providers, iShares, the market leader, has made the biggest in-roads in the UK. Its products are now available on a range of popular fund wrap platforms including FundsNetwork, Ascentric, Elevate, Novia, Standard Life, Nucleus, Raymond James and Transact.

This appears to be paying off, with UK advisers increasingly using the firm’s ETFs, after it revealed that assets under management invested in its products through fund platforms surged by 52% between the end of 2010 and the end of 2012.

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