Today, Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) and Phoenix Group (Phoenix) announced changes to their strategic partnership. The changes support a joint ambition to simplify the relationship and enable both groups to focus on their respective core strategies.
What is changing?
SLA and Phoenix have agreed to simplify the arrangements and strengthen their strategic relationship:
- Phoenix will acquire full ownership of the ‘Standard Life’ brand and will continue to invest in it
- Phoenix will be responsible for the distribution of off-platform products for the adviser market
- In due course, a number of SLA colleagues who support these products will transfer to Phoenix
- SLA will purchase the Wrap Self-Invested Personal Pension (Wrap SIPP) and Wrap Onshore Bond businesses from Phoenix
- Phoenix is reinforcing its Strategic Partnership with SLA by re-committing to a 10-year strategic asset management partnership
What is not changing?
The Wrap and Elevate platforms are retained by SLA. Investing in Wrap and Elevate is key to SLA’s strategic growth ambitions. Extensive experience enhancements are planned which will benefit advisers and their clients and build on the market-leading position the platforms hold today.
There are no changes to the Wrap International Portfolio Bond. Standard Life International, part of Phoenix Group, will continue to provide this product on the Wrap platform.
Ownership of the Standard Life off-platform SIPP products (Group SIPP and Active Money SIPP) will remain with Phoenix Group.
Do I need to do anything?
No, nothing changes for advisers and their clients today. You will receive plenty of notice should there be any change in future.
My firm uses a Standard Life platform, what is the impact of the changes for my business and my clients?
SLA already have full ownership of the Wrap platform proposition but has agreed in principle to purchase and become the legal provider for the Wrap SIPP and Onshore Bond products.
A legal transfer of the products by a Part VII transfer scheme is targeted for completion in late 2022 subject to all necessary regulatory and other conditions being satisfied. You and your clients should see very little service impact arising from the transfer.
There are no changes to the Standard Life Elevate and Fundzone platform propositions.
The Wrap, Elevate and Fundzone platforms will continue to trade as “Standard Life” for the short term. SLA has initiated a branding review across the group, the outcome of which will be announced later this year.
Noel Butwell, CEO Adviser Platforms is looking forward to sharing more about the SLA strategy with you and you can expect to hear about the new brand over the coming months.
I have clients invested in Standard Life off-platform products, what is the impact of the changes for my business and my clients?
Phoenix will have full ownership of the off-platform adviser proposition, servicing and relationship management, making it simpler to deliver an even more cohesive experience along with future enhancements planned for the benefit of you and your clients. Andy Curran, CEO Savings and Retirements, UK and Europe, will share more about Phoenix’s plans soon.
Having ownership of the brand allows Phoenix to align more fully the values of the organisation with the Standard Life brand and help ensure it is well placed to achieve the vision of helping even more people on their journey to and through retirement.
Will my points of contact change?
There are no immediate changes to your points of contact and the way you work with us at this time. You will receive plenty of notice ahead of any future changes.
Will you be contacting my clients?
SLA and Phoenix will not be contacting any customers at this stage.
What disruption may you cause to my business as the changes happen?
SLA and Phoenix are both fully committed to ensuring a smooth transition for you and your clients. Both are committed to minimising disruption to your business and protecting the experience you expect from them through any changes.
How do I explain this to my clients if they ask?
We’ve prepared some messaging for advised customers to explain what is happening and what it means. Read our strategic partnership Q&A for clients.
I have another question, who should I contact?
Should you have any further questions please get in touch with your usual point of contact.