Standard Life won't be buying Co-funds

FT Adviser reported today that ‘Standard Life’s head of adviser and wealth manager propositions has ruled out the prospect of buying more platforms in the near future as the provider looks to bed down its deal with Axa’

Standard Life, along with its private client financial planning business 1825, has been very active in M&A of late, confirming the acquisition of the Axa Elevate platform 4 weeks back, and a further 3 IFA businesses.

Talking to FT Adviser, David Tiller, head of adviser and wealth manager propositions, said the plan now is fully complete the Axa deal, to ensure advisers are not disrupted, ahead of any future acquisition plans.

He is also reported to have said Standard Life had “absolutely no plans” to buy Cofunds, following rumours from the beginning of this year that a takeover from Aegon UK could be in the offing.

Commenting on Standard Life’s position on this, he said: “It’s about the fit, in terms of business model and sectors of the market. Cofunds operates in quite a different space from us.”

That said, he stated that moving quickly to acquire and consolidate competitor platforms is clearly advantageous, as it allows the business to pick platforms which align to the existing business and are simpler to integrate.

The FT Adviser reported ‘This trend of consolidation in the platform market is what is giving Mr Tiller grounds to believe there will only be five adviser platforms by 2021.

He said, however, there was still a long way to go in the consolidation process, which meant it was difficult to see which platforms would be left standing at this point in time.’