Old Mutual moves to end ‘confusion’ over Skandia merger in UK

Old Mutual said it is “progressing well” with plans to build Old Mutual Wealth into a leading wealth management business, but is taking further steps to address its cost base.

In September, the group announced plans to merge its Skandia units – including Skandia UK and Skandia International – and its platform into a single business managing some £67bn (€84bn) of assets.

It has already confirmed 200 roles will likely be cut as it progresses with the merger, and group chief executive Julian Roberts said the company was further addressing its cost base.

Meanwhile, Paul Feeney (pictured), chief executive of Old Mutual Wealth, has addressed what he described as “confusing reports” about what the merger means.

“Let me be clear,” he said, “our aim is to be a provider of wealth management solutions to financial advisers and their customers.

“Their needs remain at the core of our business and we will support them whether they choose to offer whole of market or restricted market propositions, or both.”

The remarks come as Old Mutual Wealth, which also comprises Old Mutual Global Investors, reported gross sales of £2.8bn in the three months to the end of September, an increase of 8% on the corresponding period last year.

Funds under management grew by £1.8bn during the period to £67.3bn. Overall, assets have increased by £8.7bn so far in 2012, including £4.1bn representing the transfer in of Old Mutual Asset Management (UK) from the start of Q2 2012.

Elsewhere, Old Mutual Global Investors saw assets grow by 6% to £13.2bn as a result of net inflows of £0.1bn and positive investment returns of £0.6bn. The Skandia UK platform saw net inflows of £400m, helping increase funds under management to £21.7bn.

Skandia International recorded gross sales of £400m but funds under management decreased to £13.7bn – from £14.6bn in the previous quarter – almost exclusively, Old Mutual said, as a result of the sale of the Skandia business in Finland.

Feeney said: “We have continued to grow the business during a tough quarter for retail fund sales and the immediate focus is now on helping advisers through the RDR transition phase.

“Our adviser charging process and the new charging structure for our UK platform were announced in August and we are working with advisers to ensure they are clear on the changes and how they will affect their business and their customers.”


This article was first published on IFAonline

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