Demand for financial advice to increase following Budget proposals.

15 May 2014

Demand for financial advice to increase following Budget proposals.

Old Mutual Wealth, comprising Skandia and Old Mutual Global Investors, delivered a strong performance over the first quarter of 2014 and believes the Budget proposals will be a further boost for financial advisers.  Net client cash flow (NCCF) more than doubled to £1.1 billion (Q1 2013: £0.4 billion) as a result of strong sales across asset management and the UK platform.  Year-on-year gross sales were up 28% at £3.9 billion (Q1 2013: £3.1 billion) and assets under management finished the period at a record high of £80.2 billion (31st December 2013: £78.5 billion).

Old Mutual Wealth announced some significant additions to its customer proposition during the period, most notably the launch of its WealthSelect portfolio management solutions, the acquisition of the Intrinsic network of financial advisers and the acquisition of Henderson’s 50% shareholding in the Cirilium investment proposition.  These additions give Old Mutual Wealth an integrated customer proposition covering advice, actively managed portfolios and tax efficient products.

Old Mutual Global Investors (OMGI) saw gross sales increase 66% to £2.5 billion (Q1 2013: £1.5 billion). NCCF for OMGI increased to £1.1 billion against £0.1 billion in the comparative period, with NCCF from UK third party distribution channels increasing significantly to £0.7 billion (Q1 2013: £0.1 billion). OMGI’s sales were strong across the majority of asset classes, facilitated by its strengthening brand presence and strong investment performance – 44% of the assets managed by OMGI have seen top quartile performance over three years and 72% have outperformed their benchmark over the same period.

During the period OMGI was the top selling fund group in the UK by net retail sales (£0.9 billion) and number five by gross retail sales (£1.6 billion) according to the Pridham report.  This strong sales performance saw overall funds under management increase 9% since the beginning of the year.

The Skandia UK platform gross sales increased by 32% to £1.3 billion (2013: £0.9 billion) and net client cash flow remained consistent at £0.5 billion compared with the same period last year. Sales momentum in Q1 was boosted by the launch of Skandia’s new WealthSelect proposition which meets the increased demand for outsourced portfolio management solutions from financial advisers.  Funds under management ended the period at £28.1 billion, up 3% since the beginning of the year.

Gross sales for the Skandia International cross-border business were down 5% year-on-year at £427 million (2013: £449 million). Strong sales growth in Europe and in South Africa has been offset by a traditionally slower first quarter in Hong Kong and Singapore. Despite a slow start earlier in the period, sales momentum in Latin America and in the UK strengthened during March.  International funds under management stand at £15.1 billion, up from £15.0 billion at 31 December 2013.

Paul Feeney, chief executive of Old Mutual Wealth, comments:

“The 2014 Budget proposals will be a major boost for financial advisers.  Customers have always needed advice but the greater freedom proposed by the Chancellor will increase this need further.  And it is full advice they need, guidance will not go far enough for customers.  They will need tailored, individual advice from a fully qualified and professional financial adviser.

“We are building a customer proposition that will deliver this advice along with actively managed portfolios and tax efficient products, all at a competitive cost.  We are taking high quality wealth management services and making them available to all retail investors through our platform where they can view their investments at any time via our new online customer centre. We are trying to make wealth management less daunting and more accessible to customers and we think that will encourage them to save for their futures.”

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